Researchers at the University of Sydney have discovered an underground reservoir under the east coast of Australia.
The underground “highway” is amazing
The Nature Scientific Reports Research published in the journal simulates the flow of water in three interconnected aquifers extending more than 800 km between Brisbane in northern Australia and Canberra in the south.
The study’s lead author, Ben Mather, a researcher in the University of Sydney’s Department of Geosciences, said the huge ponds could contain up to 20 percent of the water from the recent floods in Australia.
According to Mather, this subsurface water highway is mainly composed of layers of rock consisting of 50-300 million years of sediments from the Permian to the Triassic,
A huge amount of water flows over it for long distances.
Not only do large pools act as reservoirs to collect water during heavy rains, but they can also help move water over long distances during droughts.
“Surface and groundwater sources are interconnected. Groundwater acts as a compensator during floods and droughts, absorbing water or providing water supplies as appropriate.”
The subterranean ‘river’ can play an important role in the occurrence of drought
The Sydney Basin is able to hold a mass of water up to three meters in height per day, which is a world record. However, Mather added that groundwater levels in agricultural areas have fallen by 17 meters over the past two decades, warning that more must be learned about the sustainable exploitation of this hidden water supply.
“As groundwater levels decline and natural regeneration stops, water evaporation leaves salt, which is detrimental to users in rural and urban areas alike,” he explained. Mather and his research team’s work is supported by the State Government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Building on the model set up, the researchers now want to provide practical help to farmers and other water users with what aquifers can be expected in the local area.
(Source: MTI / Xinhua)
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