Territory Stories

End of Wet Season Stream Flow Measurements, Roper River, May 2014



End of Wet Season Stream Flow Measurements, Roper River, May 2014


Kerle, Errol; Waugh, Peter; Northern Territory. Department of Land Resource Management


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Aug-14




Roper River


Early dry season snapshot measurements were taken on the Roper River to establish water quality and quantity conditions at commencement of baseflow conditions. The snapshot measurements are used to: 1. Refine and calibrate the hydrological model used to assess resource availability and allocations. 2. Better define aquifer recharge/discharge zones along the river, and 3. Provide a dataset of comparable flow and water quality measurements at identical periods in the annual water cycle.


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Table of contents

Summary -- Aim -- Introduction -- Observations -- Discussion -- Conclusion -- Recommendations -- References




End of Wet Season Stream Flow Measurement

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication





24 pages : illustrations, colour maps ; 30 cm.

File type



1743500637; 9781743500637


Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

15 Conclusion Early dry season snapshot measurements conducted in the last week of May 2014 provides a very good seasonal depiction of discharge originating from the Tindall Limestone Aquifer. Investigation of recent regional rainfall activity and tributary inflows confirm snapshot measurements are almost entirely representative of groundwater discharges into the Roper River from the aquifer. Similar to the October 2013 snapshot measurements, the current measurements show that flows along the Roper River do not comply with the continuity principle of increasing flows moving downstream. River sections passing through the aquifer record strong gains in discharge, while sections not passing through the aquifer show overall system losses. This indicates no significant dry season inflows to the river other than via the Tindal Limestone Aquifer or if there is inflow from tributaries such as Flying Fox Creek, the additional recharge is lost to evaporation. Losses to total discharge may include evaporation, environmental consumption and water extractions and possibly losses to unidentified aquifers. The current snapshot measurements appear to establish a trend of decreasing dry season baseflow since 2011, with current early dry season flows being below long term averages for the first time since 1997. This appears to result from decreasing rainfall over the region since 2011 although the current below average flows may be directly attributable to very low rainfall totals over the 2012/13 wet season. Near average rainfall totals for the 2013/14 wet season may see a rebound in early dry season baseflow during 2015.

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