Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Groundwater head in high-temperature aquifers

Gabor Bekesi, Murray Tyler and John Waterhouse
Groundwater head in high-temperature aquifers
Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (February 2013) 46 (1): 87-94


In the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) of Australia the combination of high temperatures and deep wells makes the calculation of groundwater heads challenging. Regulatory requirements set small drawdown conditions that require improved accuracy in the determination of head. The objectives of this study are to calculate temperature-inclusive groundwater heads to a sub-metre precision and analyse the implications of including temperatures in head calculations on groundwater management in the GAB. If groundwater is discharged from an ordinary well containing cold and fresh water, both the wellhead pressure and head decline; once the well is shut-in both the wellhead pressure and head recover. Observations in several deep and hot wells in the GAB confirm that if a well is allowed to flow, the wellhead pressure measured at the surface increases. Wellhead pressure has also been observed to decrease in several wells in the GAB after shut-in with corresponding cooling of the wellhead. A method has been developed to calculate temperature-inclusive head. The head may be calculated from well depth, elevation, wellhead pressure and near-surface and bottom-hole temperatures. Hydraulic gradients and therefore groundwater inflow to South Australia, calculated using current practices of temperature-exclusive heads or assuming constant temperatures in wells, may be incorrect.

ISSN: 1470-9236
EISSN: 2041-4803
Serial Title: Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
Serial Volume: 46
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Groundwater head in high-temperature aquifers
Affiliation: Australian Water Environments, Adelaide, South Aust., Australia
Pages: 87-94
Published: 201302
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 11
Accession Number: 2013-021308
Categories: Hydrogeology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
S38°00'00" - S26°00'00", E129°00'00" - E141°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: BHP Billiton, AUS, AustraliaGolder Associates, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201314
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal