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 42 The locations of the major drainage in the WDWCD (Murray Creek, Skinner Creek, Taylor Creek and Wycliffe Creek) are presented above in Figure 3-3. The rivers and creeks within the WDWCD are all ephemeral and there are no permanent springs. 3.11. Vegetation mapping 3.11.1. Regional vegetation mapping Land systems and land unit mapping provides information about vegetation communities in the landscape. Land system mapping at 1:1 000 000 is available for the southern NT providing coarse vegetation mapping and land unit mapping at 1:100 000 has been completed for Neutral Junction and Murray Downs. Generally, the area, which is largely sand plains, is covered with low open hummock grassland sparse Acacia shrubland and low isolated Eucalyptus trees. National Vegetation Information System (Department of the Environment, 2006) regional vegetation mapping is available providing an indication of areas where GDEs may exist. 3.11.2. Wetland mapping Whilst Environment Australia (2001) cites there are no nationally important wetlands in the study region, Duguid, et al. (2005) indicates the following areas within the Western Davenport WCD hold significant arid wetlands: Chabalowe and Thring ephemeral swamps; Bluebush bore ephemeral lake; waterholes associated with deeply incised creeks and rocky outcrop country in the ranges; in-stream waterholes within The Plains e.g. Wycliffe Well; and, Murray Creek Floodout. Thring and Warrabri and Piggery Bore swamps may be locations of ecosystems associated with presumed groundwater discharge zones (indicated by shallow SWLs and the persistence of LAI above 0.2). The water table is ~ 5 mbgl, though the potentiometric surface of the deep aquifers is ~ 2.5 mbgl. These swamps are dominated by Eucalyptus victrix (gum-barked Coolabah). It is likely that for maintenance of the biomass, the ecosystem is reliant on periodic flooding with surface water (rather than groundwater discharge). However, large perennial plants and trees may tap groundwater and therefore perhaps can be dependent on it.