Postgraduate Profiles

Robert MacCracken

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Thesis: Hydrostratigraphy and Groundwater Flow Regimes of the Canning Basin, Western Australia

The objective of this thesis is to construct a hydrogeological conceptual model of the Canning Basin to guide the management of the current and future domestic, agricultural, and industrial uses of water resources in the region. Three primary aims will attempt to achieve this objective. Firstly, all existing hydrogeologically relevant data will be compiled and evaluated to establish detailed hydrostratigraphy. Secondly, existing geophysical interpretations of the basins stratigraphy and structure will be built on to establish a large-scale hydrogeological conceptual model of the basin. Thirdly, the groundwater flow regimes will be established using geochemical tracers and pore pressures from existing petroleum wells. The anticipated outcomes of this study are detailed descriptions of hydrostratigraphic units including their geometry, hydraulic properties, recharge and discharge patterns, and groundwater flow directions of the aquifers. These results will be consolidated within a 3D hydrogeological conceptual model of the basin.

Why my research is important

Increasing interest in the resources of the Canning Basin, northern Western Australia has led to new investigations into its geology and hydrogeology since 2003. These investigations have advanced understanding of specific limited areas, but the last comprehensive hydrogeological analysis of the entire basin was over 25 years ago.


Canning Basin outside of Broome (News Limited)

Mar 2015

Mar 2018