Rapid growth of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in south-east Queensland has driven the development of regional-scale groundwater modelling of the Surat and Bowen geological basins by gas companies and regulatory and research agencies. A review of six regional-scale groundwater models for the Queensland Water Commission (currently known as Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment, OGIA) recommended that a new groundwater model be developed to assess the cumulative impacts resulting from CSG development in the Surat and Bowen basins.
The Queensland Water Commission developed this regional groundwater model for the Surat cumulative management area (CMA), henceforth referred to as the OGIA model. The primary purpose of the OGIA model is to predict the regional water pressure and water level changes in aquifers within the Surat CMA in response to the depressurisation of the coal seams for CSG production. The OGIA model has the best available representation of CSG development in the Surat CMA and provides a probabilistic estimate of hydrological changes arising from coal resource development. However, groundwater impacts resulting from the operation of the coal mines in the Surat CMA are not currently represented in the OGIA model. The focus on deeper regional aquifers means that the OGIA model is not on its own suitable for assessing hydrological changes to groundwater-dependent ecosystems, such as water-course springs and terrestrial vegetation. In conclusion, the OGIA model meets the fit-for-purpose criteria for groundwater modelling in BA, with the exception of criteria related to the representation of water fluxes in surficial aquifers.
Rapid growth of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in south-east Queensland has driven the development of regional-scale groundwater modelling of the Surat and Bowen geological basins by gas companies and regulatory and research agencies. The Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion intersects the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) aquifers in the Surat geological basin and parts of the Bowen geological basin. Four whole-of-GAB and 18 notable part-GAB groundwater models are reviewed by who found that the GABtran model is the most suitable existing groundwater model to assess water resource availability for the Great Artesian Basin Water Resource Assessment.
This review focuses on regional-scale groundwater models developed to simulate the groundwater impacts of CSG and coal mining development in the Surat and Bowen geological basins in order to assess the suitability of each model for bioregional assessment (BA) groundwater modelling purposes. Figure 4 shows the boundary geometries of the regional groundwater models that intersect with the Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion:
- APLNG Project model – on behalf of Origin Energy Ltd
- Condamine Model – for Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) in collaboration with the National Water Commission in Queensland Water Commission
- Dumaresq Border Rivers model – in
- GABtran model – Bureau of Rural Sciences for the entire GAB
- GLNG Comet Ridge model – for the Bowen Basin and on behalf of Santos Ltd for the Surat Basin
- Moree model - in
- OGIA model – for the Queensland Water Commission
- QCLNG Project models – on behalf of QGC Pty Ltd
- Surat Gas Project model – Schlumberger Water Services Pty Ltd (SWS, 2010) on behalf of Arrow Energy Pty Ltd
- Upper Condamine model - for the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project.
APLNG = Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas, CDA = Central Development Area, GAB = Great Artesian Basin, GLNG = Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas, NWDA = North West Development Area, OGIA = Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment, QCLNG = Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas, SEDA = South East Development Area
Product Finalisation date
- 188.8.131.52 Methods
- 184.108.40.206 Review of existing models
- 220.127.116.11 Model development
- 18.104.22.168 Boundary and initial conditions
- 22.214.171.124 Implementation of coal resource development pathway
- 126.96.36.199 Parameterisation
- 188.8.131.52 Observations and predictions
- 184.108.40.206 Uncertainty analysis
- 220.127.116.11 Limitations
- Contributors to the Technical Programme
- About this technical product