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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Identifying recharge under subtle ephemeral features in flat-lying semi-arid region using a combined geophysical approach

Brady A. Flinchum1, Eddie Banks2, Michael Hatch2,3, Okke Batelaan2, Luk Peeters1, and Sylvain Pasquet4 Brady A. Flinchum et al.
  • 1Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Deep Earth Imaging Future Science Platform & Land and Water, Urrbrae, 5064, Australia
  • 2National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Adelaide, 5001, Australia
  • 3Department of Geosciences, School of Physics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  • 4Université de Paris, Institut de physique du globe de Paris, CNRS, F-75005 Paris, France

Abstract. Identifying and quantifying recharge processes linked to ephemeral surface water features is challenging due to their episodic nature. We use a unique combination of well-established near-surface geophysical methods to provide evidence of a surface and groundwater connection under a small ephemeral recharge feature in a flat, semi-arid region near Adelaide, Australia. We use a seismic survey to obtain P-wave velocity through travel-time tomography and S-wave velocity through the multichannel analysis of surface waves. The ratios between P-wave and S-wave velocities allow us to infer the position of the water table. A separate survey was used to obtain electrical conductivity measurements from time-domain electromagnetics and water contents were acquired by downhole nuclear magnetic resonance. The combined geophysical observations provide evidence to support a groundwater mound underneath a subtle ephemeral feature. Our results suggest that recharge is localized and that small-scale ephemeral features play an important role in groundwater recharge. Furthermore, we show that a combined geophysical approach can provide a unique perspective that helps shape the hydrogeological conceptualization of a semi-arid region.

Brady A. Flinchum et al.

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Brady A. Flinchum et al.

Brady A. Flinchum et al.


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