Open pit iron ore mines in the Pilbara region of northwest Australia require dewatering to create dry mining environments. Excess water is discharged to ephemeral creeks, and environmental tracers are being used to investigate the impacts of mine dewatering and the fate of mine water discharge. This talk will cover three aspects of environmental tracer studies in the Pilbara region: 1) Use of 3H, CFCs and 14C to distinguish between ambient groundwater and excess mine water that inltrates after being discharged to creeks; 2) Intra-bore ow in long-screened wells – problems with contamination and methods for sampling these wells; and 3) Generic modelling studies to understand the role of hydraulic barriers (dykes and faults) on groundwater ages.
Bio : Professor Peter Cook is internationally recognized for his research on environmental tracers, and their use to study groundwater ow and transport. He has co-written books on environmental tracers and ecohydrology, and has published more than 100 research papers in leading international journals. He was the National Ground Water Association’s Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer in Ground Water Science in 2009, the rst time this honour was awarded to a scientist from outside North America. Between 2009 and 2014 he was Deputy Director of the Australian National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT).