The investigation for the dam sites on Whitewater Creek, Tasmania illustrates two principles for site investigation in areas where geological exposures vary from good to poor: (1) The need for an integrated approach to the investigation using all the geological, geophysical and sampling techniques that are available, and (2) that even when all these tools are applied together only a certain level of geological knowledge may be attained by the investigation and the process has to be repeated by a series of logical loops to obtain a higher level of geological knowledge.
This process is illustrated by the comparison of two geological maps of the Whitewater Creek area. One loop, including mapping, geophysical work, drilling and pressure testing resulted in a map produced in 1967, when the investigation was halted because of a financial emergency due to the Hobart bushfires.
The second map illustrates the final investigation which was resumed in 1969 and completed in 1970 after subsequent loops. Both sites were abandoned because of the location of an unexposed and unsuspected Tertiary drainage system unrelated to the present Whitewater Creek.