New paper on residence time of groundwater in the Great Artesian Basin

Graphical abstract

More than 10 years ago, the HydroTraP group at IUP contributed noble gas and especially helium data and its modeling to a multi-tracer groundwater dating study in the Great Artesian Basin in Australia. Colleagues from Australia, the US, China, and Switzerland contributed other tracer data, including all relevant noble gas radioistopes (39Ar, 81Kr, 85Kr).

Finally this unique complete data set and its interpretation has now been published in the journal "Science of the Total Environment". The paper finds that current-day groundwater recharge in the study region occurs via ephemeral river recharge beneath the Finke River, while diffuse recharge is minor in the young groundwaters, but becomes increasingly important towards the end of the investigated transect. 81Kr dating is used as a reference for the older groundwater and used to calibrate dating based on 36Cl and radiogenic He.

The manuscript includes Lisa Bröder as a co-author, who modeled the He data of this study in her master thesis at IUP in 2011. She is now at ETH Zurich.


Purtschert, R., A.J. Love, W. Jiang, Z.-T. Lu, G.-M. Yang, S. Fulton, D. Wohling, P. Shand, W. Aeschbach, L. Bröder, P. Müller, and Y. Tosaki, 2023. Residence times of groundwater along a flow path in the Great Artesian Basin determined by 81Kr, 36Cl and 4He: Implications for palaeo hydrogeology. Sci. Total Environ. 859: 159886, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.159886.


Picture: Graphical abstract showing the investigated area, used tracers, and inferred recharge pathways.