Buried lava flows crossing the Great Divide in north Queensland: discovery using magnetic methods, and implications for hydrology

Nelson, P.N., Whitehead, P.W., and Link, C.A. (2010) Buried lava flows crossing the Great Divide in north Queensland: discovery using magnetic methods, and implications for hydrology. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 57 (3). pp. 279-289.

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Abstract

Rapid rises in saline groundwater in part of the Cattle Creek catchment, a sub-catchment of the Mitchell River within the Mareeba Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme irrigation area in north Queensland, led us to search for underground structures that might be influencing groundwater flow. Aeromagnetic survey data suggested the presence of two basaltic lava flows buried in alluvium. Each flow is several kilometres long and one crosses the current Great Divide, the major regional drainage divide. Ground magnetic surveys, geological field investigations and a drilling program confirmed the existence of the flows. The larger flow, in the southern part of the catchment, runs approximately parallel to the Walsh River, is several hundred metres wide and ~10 m thick, and is buried under ~7 m of alluvium. The position of the flows shows that the Great Divide in this region has migrated west since the eruption of the basaltic lava at 1.79 Ma. In this region, it is possible that groundwater flow follows the trend of the subsurface strata, crossing the current surface drainage divide. Groundwater recharge in Cattle Creek may therefore be influenced by management of irrigation water in the adjacent catchments.

Item ID: 10426
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: aeromagnetic survey; basalt; Cattle Creek catchment; dykes; groundwater; irrigation; magnetic anomaly; salinity
ISSN: 1440-0952
Funders: Mitchell River Watershed Management Group
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2010 04:27
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology @ 30%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040606 Quaternary Environments @ 30%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040601 Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management @ 60%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820304 Sugar @ 40%
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