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Soil, land care and environmental research

The use of environmental chloride and tritium to estimate total recharge to an unconfined aquifer

GB Allison and MW Hughes

Australian Journal of Soil Research 16(2) 181 - 195
Published: 1978


A portion of the Gambier Plain underlain by an unconfined aquifer with readily definable hydrologic boundaries has been divided into a number of areas within which soil types have similar hydrologic properties. Mean annual recharge has been estimated for each area using both the tritium concentration and the chloride concentration of water within the soil profile. Good agreement was obtained between the two methods with local recharge varying between 50 and 250 mm year-1. Total mean annual recharge for the area has been estimated to be 2.4 ± 0.3 x 108 m3 year-1, and this compares favourably with an estimated discharge of 2.5 ± 0.3 x 108 m3 year-1.

© CSIRO 1978

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