Attributing variations of temporal and spatial groundwater recharge: a statistical analysis of climatic and non-climatic factors

Fu, G., Crosbie, R. S., Barron, O., Charles, S. P., Dawes, W., Shi, X. , Van Niel, T. and Li, C. (2019) Attributing variations of temporal and spatial groundwater recharge: a statistical analysis of climatic and non-climatic factors. Journal of Hydrology, 568, pp. 816-834. (doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.11.022)

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Abstract

This paper demonstrated the benefits of statistical methods when investigating the climatic and non-climatic drivers responsible for variations in groundwater recharge with a series of up to 43 years of annual recharge for 426 bores in South-East South Australia. We identified the factors influencing groundwater recharge based on 71 climatic metrics and 13 non-climatic metrics (including groundwater abstraction). The results showed: 1) Rainfall during April to October was the most important variable influencing recharge temporal variation, with its decline identified as the most significant factor related to recharge reduction; 2) In contrast, a negative correlation between rainfall during December to February (DJF) and annual groundwater recharge was found. This suggests that a seasonal shift in rainfall (such as decreasing rainfall during April to October and an increase during DJF) can result in a decline in recharge even when the annual rainfall remains unchanged; 3) The length of wet spells (consecutive rain days) and increasing PET were additional significant predictors for recharge temporal variation. It demonstrated that a simple empirical relationship (such as recharge as a fixed percentage of rainfall) is not a reliable estimation of renewable groundwater resources under changing climatic conditions; 4) There is a statistically significant spatial correlation between mean groundwater depth and recharge, and this implies that a reduction in rainfall can lead to a positive feedback loop of declining recharge and water level; 5) Spatially the most statistically significant factors influencing groundwater recharge were soil types and land attributes. The findings of this study can identify which stressors should be included when investigating the impact of climate change on groundwater recharge.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by a CSIRO strategic project.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shi, Dr John Xiaogang
Authors: Fu, G., Crosbie, R. S., Barron, O., Charles, S. P., Dawes, W., Shi, X., Van Niel, T., and Li, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Hydrology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-1694
ISSN (Online):1879-2707
Published Online:15 November 2018

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