Territory Stories

Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains



Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains


Knapton, Anthony; CloudGMS Pty Ltd

Commissioned by

Northern Territory. Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; WRD Technical Report 27/2017




Western Davenport Water Control District


CloudGMS has been commissioned by DENR to develop a numerical groundwater model of the aquifers within the central area of the WDWCD to improve confidence in the sustainability of the groundwater resources, as this is the area within the WCD with greatest potential for intensive development.


Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT); Prepared for Dept Environment and Natural resources

Table of contents

Executive summary -- 1 Background -- 2 Physical -- 3 Available data -- 4 Conceptual model -- 5 Model design & construction -- 6 Parameter estimation -- 7 Water balances -- 8 Sensitivity analysis -- 9 Predictive scenarios -- 10 Conclusions -- 11 Reference -- 12 Document history and version control -- Appendix A - Groundwater level hydrographs - Appendix B - Alek range horticultural farm sub-regional modelling




Groundwater; Northern Territory; Western Davenport Water Control District; Conceptual mode

Publisher name

Northern Territory Governmnet

Place of publication



version 2.0


WRD Technical Report 27/2017


ix, 127 pages : colour illustration and maps ; 30 cm

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related links

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/842058 [LANT E-Publications: Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains, version 1.1]

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Western Davenport WCD Groundwater Model (v2.0) Available Data CloudGMS 25 The Lander Trough, along the southern basin margin, is on trend with the Dulcie and Toko troughs (synclines) of the Georgina Basin to the southeast, all three of which are separated from Proterozoic rocks of the Aileron Province by a series of thrust fault systems. Regional dip steepens to an estimated 2 degrees or more in the trough and limited seismic data indicate that the Palaeozoic succession thickens considerably southwards (Mathur in Kennewell and Huleatt 1980), giving an overall asymmetry to the basin fill. This suggests that the original structure of the trough was a halfgraben, with subsidence presumably controlled by a master detachment fault system forming the southern depositional margin and probably underlying the trough. The present faulted southern margin with the adjacent Arunta Region is a series of east-southeast trending, southwest dipping thrust faults with a total displacement of over 2000m. It is unclear whether or not the depositional margins of the basin coincide these present day faults. No marginal basin facies has been reported from the vicinity of the structures and the sense of movement (southside-up thrusting) is opposite to that of the inferred, north-side-down, normal listric faults that would have originally bounded the half-graben. It is therefore possible that early Palaeozoic deposits may have extended southwards across the present southern margin of the basin but have subsequently been uplifted and eroded. Major faults in the area trend northwest to west. Plumb (1976) noted that west-northwest-trending faults are widespread throughout north-central Australia and are commonly thrust and reverse faults. North-trending strike-slip and oblique-slip faults are also present. Many of the faults show evidence of reactivation both on a local and regional basis (Dodson and Gardener, 1978; Plumb, 1976). Taylor Fault is one of the major structural features in the study area. The fault has been reactivated as indicated by the development of the fault bounded Tertiary basin.