Oral Presentation Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Australian aquifer boundary alignment with National Aquifer Framework (#10)

Liam Murphy 1 , Brendan Dimech 1 , Elisabetta Carrara 1
  1. Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, VICTORIA, Australia


The Bureau’s “Australian Groundwater Insight” currently displays the extent of all major aquifers in Australia, grouped by Upper (shallowest), Middle and Lower (deepest). The purpose of this aggregation is to convey the 3D nature of aquifers to non-groundwater experts. Aquifers are categorised as belonging to Upper, Middle or Lower horizons in accordance with the methodology initially established with the Victorian Aquifer framework, and further modified in reference to their stratigraphic horizon position.

The aim of this work is to align the existing aquifer boundaries and their aggregation with the National Aquifer Framework (NAF) and produce a hydrostratigraphic table to show what Hydrogeological Units are included in each group. This data conveys the relative sequence of layers in a simplified way. This will also improve the consistency of the Bureau’s groundwater products.

Design and Methodology

Australia was first broken up into several major provinces based on Geoscience Australia Provence layer. Nine provinces were identified across Australia and were separated by basement highs.

Secondly a simplified hydrostratigraphic table was created to display how Hydrogeological Units are grouped. The table further divides the 9 provinces into 24 basins (and sub basins where needed) and basement highs. This summarises how the NAF Hydrogeological Units are grouped into Upper/Middle/Lower, and it also shows the relevant NAF Hydrogeological Complex’s which provides information about the age, depositional environment and rock type.


The new aquifer boundary layer will support a better understanding of the 3D nature of groundwater to non-groundwater experts.

The table will also provide stakeholders with a consistent framework when working with aquifers across Australia and it will also provide a valuable link to the National Aquifer Framework.

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