Model development


A regional-scale numerical groundwater model was built using the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) modelling platform to evaluate the hydrological changes due to additional coal resource development on groundwater resources in the Hunter subregion.

The groundwater model is built upon the nine geological horizons in the Hunter subregion geological model. Additional layers are added to better represent groundwater processes in the alluvium and near-surface unsaturated zones and to define the coal seams around mines. The modelling domain spans an area of about 34,000 km2 with depths ranging from about 300 m to 3000 m. It is represented by a variable triangulated finite-element mesh with greater resolution around mines and streams.

Saturated flow is governed by Darcy’s equation, and single-phase unsaturated flow by Darcy-Richards equation. Changes in subsurface physical flow paths following mining subsidence are represented by enhancing hydraulic conductivities above the longwall mines.

Last updated:
18 January 2019
Thumbnail of the Hunter subregion

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