Progressive abandonment of the South Nottinghamshire Coalfield raises concerns over the security of the Permo–Triassic Sherwood Sandstone aquifer which overlies the concealed part of the coalfield. A 3-D digital visualization package has been used to assemble and display the complex and diverse data-sets of relevance. Predictive scenarios have been run from these data using the University of Newcastle program GRAM (Groundwater Rebound in Abandoned Mineworkings). The work comprised three phases: (i) confirmation of the geological framework for the so-called ‘Pond 3’ area (southernmost part of the coalfield) and establishment of a water balance along with an outline groundwater flow path system for the Coal Measures and adjacent strata; (ii) the collation of detailed geometric information on the spatial distribution of discrete geological layers that are considered to have hydrogeological significance, the distribution of mineworkings within key horizons, and the locations of boreholes, shafts and pumping stations (both in the Coal Measures and within overlying strata). Possible flooding configurations have been assessed geometrically to identify ‘hot spots’ where mine water discharge to surface may occur, and areas where the piezometric level of the rising mine water might promote upward fluxes into the Permo–Triassic Sherwood Sandstone aquifer. In addition, critical areas where coal has been worked close to the base of the Permian and where hydraulic continuity may occur between the Sherwood Sandstone and Coal Measures have been identified; (iii) the GRAM model used data held in the 3-D visualization package VULCAN to define discrete ‘ponds’ within the coalfield. Recharge to the system allows each pond to fill until overflow pathways are reached, when the adjacent pond may start to fill. A variety of such scenarios have been completed and predictive data generated, which suggest that possible discharge to surface and into the Sherwood Sandstone might occur about 20 years after the end of dewatering.

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