Perth’s most important water source is the Gnangara groundwater mound. Water levels have been falling on the mound for over 30 years but for such an important resource it is surprising there have been few attempts to measure the primary input, recharge. An eddy covariance system has been running for nearly four years in the native Banksia woodland which covers about half the recharge area to the Superficial Aquifer. The atmospheric measurement system is coupled to a piezometer network and soil moisture monitoring to get a robust means of continuously monitoring water balance over an area of about 1 km2. By calculating the total water balance from rainfall, evaporation and soil moisture storage we derive recharge.
The Gingin flux station is located in native Banksia woodland on the Swan Coastal Plain about 70km north of Perth, Western Australia. It is sited on land traditionally owned by the Yued group of the Noongar people, and was established in June 2011. This site was chosen as being representative of the recharge area and its ecological values. The measurements enable a better calculation of recharge under Banksia than previously available, and monitor how vegetation is responding to changes in climate and other influences. This work comes from a site in the OzFlux network of atmospheric flux stations around Australia, and is supported by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) of the Australian Government, and CSIRO under its Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship. OzFlux is a network of micrometeorological flux stations located at various sites within Australia and New Zealand, and is part of a global network of over 500 sites (as at March 1, 2010) where exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapour, and energy between terrestrial ecosystem and atmosphere are measured continuously over long periods.
Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) of the Australian Government, and CSIRO under its Land and Water Flagship.
Research Students would be very welcome to join this project. There is a heap of data from micrometeorology, soil hydrology, groundwater, climate, and vegetation phenology. (Honours, MSc, Doctoral).
The data has been collected since late 2011, the project will continue to July 2016, and will continue beyond that subject to renewal funding due by June 2016.
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