Factsheets

Geological and Bioregional Assessment Program factsheets

The Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) Program has prepared a series of short factsheets to provide summary information on GBA program results, methods, field investigations and research. This material has all been used to underpin the program’s assessments in each GBA region.

GBA Program factsheets

These factsheets provide a summary of the key findings and methods of the GBA Program. More detailed information is available on the GBA region assessment pages and the GBA Explorer.

GBA Program factsheet Relevant Region

Impact Assessment for the Beetaloo GBA region 

Beetaloo

Impact Assessment for the Cooper GBA region

Cooper

Introduction to causal networks

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GBA Program field investigation factsheets

The GBA Program is underpinned field investigations, research and analysis to address knowledge gaps in each of the GBA regions. These studies provide critical evidence for the causal network assessments that are available in the GBA Explorer. Many of the studies are described in peer-reviewed journals and reports, which will be publicly available once published. The factsheets here provide a summary of the studies and the results.

For a different document format, please contact us.

Factsheet Number

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Relevant Region

1

Actual evapotranspiration in the Cooper Creek floodplain: transmission losses and groundwater recharge 

This study investigated the water balance of the Cooper Creek alluvium using actual evapotranspiration and remote sensing. This allowed areas to be classified by their water source, including open water, riparian areas, floodplain and rain-fed areas.

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Cooper
2

Assessing hydraulic fracture risks to groundwater

This investigation determined an approach to identifying risks that hydraulic fracturing activities may pose to groundwater resources, with a focus on the Cooper GBA region.

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Cooper
3

Assessment of groundwater quality from a possible leak of a flowback storage tank from shale gas operations

This study used predictive modelling to determine the natural dilution processes that could prevent spread of chemicals from a hypothetical leak out of a flowback storage tank during shale gas operations. 

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4

Beetaloo GBA recharge pathways – Sinkholes and their influence on recharge to aquifers 

This project aimed to improve understanding of the major pathways that groundwater takes to reach aquifers in the Beetaloo GBA region, with a focus on the role of sinkholes

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Beetaloo
5

Beetaloo GBA recharge pathways – Summary 

This project aimed to improve the understanding of the major pathways that groundwater takes to reach aquifers in the Beetaloo GBA region. The summary looks at the three major pathways that water can take to reach aquifers in the region; 1) through the Carpentaria basin; 2) through sinkholes, and; 3) via shallow or perched aquifers.

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Beetaloo
6

Beetaloo GBA recharge pathways – Geology of the Carpentaria Basin and Cenozoic sediments

This project aimed to detail major geological factors that may influence recharge from rainfall to aquifers, with a focus on travel through the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer.

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Beetaloo
7

Characterising the connectivity between permanent waterholes and groundwater 

This investigation sought to determine the connectivity between groundwater and a subset of permanent waterholes within the area prospective for unconventional gas resource developments in the Cooper GBA region.

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Cooper
8

Characterising the connectivity between the Cooper Basin, Great Artesian Basin and shallow aquifers

This investigation sought to determine the connectivity between groundwaters in the Cooper Basin, Great Artesian Basin (GAB) and shallow aquifers and whether there is mixing of fluids from different aquifers.

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Cooper
9

Application of the chemical screening framework

A chemical screening framework was developed based on modelling solute transport between unsaturated and saturated zones. This approach was used to determine the likelihood of chemicals reaching groundwater in harmful concentrations to the environment if an accidental release occurred. 

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10

Groundwater sampling in the Cooper, Eromanga and Lake Eyre basins  

This investigation collected groundwater samples from the Cooper, Eromanga and Lake Eyre basins to provide baseline hydrochemistry and water quality data for various aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Cooper GBA region

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Cooper
11

Environmental fate of hydraulic fracturing chemicals 

The GBA program developed a generic risk assessment estimate of natural dilution of chemicals associated with hypothetical and accidental leakage of chemicals used for shale and tight gas exploration to groundwater. The approach was applied to both the Cooper and Beetaloo GBA regions to determine quantitative risks to water and the environment

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12

Environmental tracer composition in aquifer rocks in the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer (CLA)  

Field investigations were undertaken to characterise groundwater composition of the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer (CLA). The CLA is a key water resource associated with the potential Beetaloo Sub-basin gas development.

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Beetaloo
13

Flood inundation modelling for Cooper Creek floodplain 

A 32,000 km2 hydrodynamic flood inundation model was developed for the Cooper Creek and its floodplain to investigate whether an increase in surface infrastructure associated with gas resource development could impact the flood regime of ecologically important waterholes and wetlands along the Cooper Creek.

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Cooper
14

Gas extraction and vegetation condition  

This investigation undertook analysis to determine if existing gas production activities have had a measurable impact on the condition of vegetation cover across the Cooper GBA region.

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Cooper
15

Groundwater recharge across the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer 

This investigation sought to quantify groundwater recharge over the entirety of the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer using chloride mass balance, baseflow separation and remotely-sensed water balance estimates.

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Beelaloo
16

Has development impacted flood characteristics? 

An investigation using remote sensing to determine if existing human development on the Cooper Creek floodplain has altered flood characteristics.

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Cooper
17

Hydrochemistry, 18O, 2H and radon time series of the Mataranka Springs 

An investigation into the origin of water flowing to the culturally important Mataranka Springs

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Beetaloo
18

Modelling of potential hydraulic (groundwater) impact pathways in the Beetaloo GBA region

Groundwater flow models were used to estimate potential hydraulic impacts (changes in groundwater pressures and flows) resulting from future shale gas extraction activities in the Beetaloo GBA region.

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Beetaloo
19

Groundwater recharge process in the Beetaloo Sub-basin 

This study undertook water sampling for environmental tracers to improve our understanding of the regional recharge processes in the Beetaloo GBA region. 

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Beetaloo
20

Regional tracer results in the Beetaloo Sub-basin and the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer 

The project investigated the regional flow system of the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer which is an important groundwater source in the Beetaloo GBA region extending over 1500 km and across three geological basins. 

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Beetaloo
21

Revising the geology of aquifers in the Cenozoic Lake Eyre Basin in the Cooper GBA region  

This investigation analysed drill logs of existing petroleum wells to improve the understanding of the geological properties of shallow near-surface aquifers in the Cooper GBA region.

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Cooper
22

Seismic surveys 

A review of existing seismic acquisition datasets and technologies to determine potential future environmental disturbances from seismic acquisition in the Cooper GBA region.

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Cooper
23

Structural flow implications for unconventional resources exploration, Beetaloo sub-basin case study (Northern Territories, Australia) 

This investigation uses imaging of new seismic and electro-magnetic data to assess the potential for natural connections between unconventional gas resources, aquifers and the surface at a basin-scale in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

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Beetaloo
24

Water quality risk assessment from use, handling, and storage of chemicals and flowback at onshore gas operations in the Beetaloo Sub-basin

A qualitative risk assessment was carried out of possible events that might impact water quality from the use, handling and storage of chemicals used in gas extraction from the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

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Beetaloo
25

Groundwater sources to the Mataranka Springs Complex  

An investigation of the origins of the water at the Mataranka Springs complex. Spring and groundwater samples were collected in October 2019 (end of the dry season) and environmental tracers were analysed. Tracers provide information on groundwater flow paths, age and source. 

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Beetaloo
26

Using natural capital accounting to track changes to ecosystem extent and condition 

The GBA Program compiled opening accounts or baseline ecosystem extent and condition accounts, for the Beetaloo and Cooper GBA regions. This provides a basis for ongoing assessment of environmental change at a regional scale as the gas industry develops.

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27

Modelling persistence of biodiversity at a regional scale 

This investigation assessed how the capacity of habitat to support biodiversity has changed in the Beetaloo and Cooper GBA regions over the past two decades

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Cooper
28

Development scenarios for unconventional gas resource development 

An investigation into what unconventional gas resource development in the Beetaloo and Cooper GBA regions may look like over the next 50 years. 

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29

Testing new remote sensing developments for the monitoring of protected matters in the Beetaloo GBA region

This investigation developed a remote sensing approach for assessing changes in habitat condition for key areas in the Beetaloo GBA region that are of potential biodiversity value.

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Beetaloo – additional studies
 

LiDAR Survey Factsheet

This factsheet explains what Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) measures and describes the collection of the Cooper Creek floodplain LiDAR dataset for the Cooper GBA region

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Cooper
 

Beetaloo baseline ecology program

The objective of this program was to compile a comprehensive baseline dataset of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity distribution in the Beetaloo GBA region. The program has been developed in consultation with NT DENR to ensure that it informs the broader Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA).

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Beetaloo – additional studies
 

Cooper Fieldwork Factsheet

Field observations and measurements of surface waters and groundwaters from properties across the Cooper GBA region were undertaken to help the GBA Program to better understand water resources and their connection to the environment.

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Cooper
 

Unconventional Gas Factsheet

This factsheet provides a description of the difference between unconventional and conventional gas resource developments

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Beetaloo Seismic Monitoring Factsheet

This program of works set up a network of seismic monitoring stations to provide baseline seismicity data in the Beetaloo GBA region. This program of works continues through the GBA program until 2022.

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Beetaloo – additional studies
Last updated:
22 September 2021

Assessments