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



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16 Recommendations The program of structured snapshot measurements targeting start of dry season and end dry season flows along the Roper River will provide greater understanding of resource availability within the Tindal Limestone Aquifer. Snapshot measurements will also greatly add to our understanding of groundwater/surface water interactions within the Mataranka Tindall Limestone Basin. Combined with long term hydrological and hydrogeological datasets, the snapshot measurements will allow for better management decisions and assessment of their impacts. The continuation of the snapshot measurement program will add to existing datasets with comparable hydrological conditions at an identical stage in the seasonal hydrological cycle. It is essential that future monitoring exercises are performed in a similar manner focusing on the monitoring program requirements as well as the recommendations from the assessment of the data collected. Three possible areas for improvement of the snapshot measurement program were identified during this snapshot period. 1. Monitoring of flows on the Waterhouse River immediately upstream of the aquifer rather than upstream of the Thermal Springs. This would allow the contributions from surface water and groundwater inflows to be better defined. 2. Monitoring of flow and water quality parameters immediately downstream of the confluence of the Little Roper and Waterhouse Rivers. While gaugings are conducted upstream on the two main tributaries, no measurements are conducted on the Roper River until almost 7km downstream of their confluence. Being highly connected to the aquifer, this would allow better definition of regional groundwater inflows between the two main tributaries and site G9030176. 3. Further investigation into the dynamics of surface water/groundwater interaction within Red Lily Lagoon. Red Lily Lagoon has been previously identified as the river reach crossing the eastern boundary of the aquifer, however within this reach the river also crosses a limestone outlier of the aquifer which appears to contribute significant additional discharge to the river (Karp, 2008; Wagenaar et al, 2013). Measurements taken along Red Lily Lagoon during the October 2013 snapshot measurement (Wagenaar et al, 2013) as well as some ad-hoc measurements taken during the May 2014 snapshot measurements appear to identify significant flow variation within this pool. Groundwater monitoring was not performed during the snapshot measurement exercise and it is recommended that the snapshot exercise be extended to groundwater monitoring sites for the 2015 monitoring program. This information will give a more complete image of the catchment and aquifer conditions and will assist greatly in the assessment process.