I lead research on evaluating the impact of coal seam gas (CSG) and coal mining on groundwater and air. At present I am coordinating research on assessing the impact of CSG developments in the Surat Basin and Condamine Catchments, and quantifying the extent of connectivity between the Great Artesian Basin and the lower Namoi alluvium adjacent to the Pilliga CSG development.
My major research activities include:
- measuring the greenhouse footprint of coal seam gas, coal mining, natural landscapes, agriculture and urban environments
- mapping connectivity between coal measures and fresh water aquifers using isotopes
- quantifying aquifer depressurisation impacts on sustainable water use and ecosystems.
Recently, we have made extensive measurements of the major greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) throughout NSW and Qld. This has been achieved using a combination of continuous measurements using a car mounted greenhouse gas analyser and by collecting ambient air samples for later analysis in our isotope laboratory.
In the Connected Waters Initiative isotope laboratory we can analyse the isotopic composition of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide gases. Isotope analyses help attribute the sources of greenhouse gases measured in ambient air samples and gases stripped from groundwater.
I also undertake research on the effectiveness of water sharing plans, improving water use efficiency in agriculture, regional groundwater management, the evolution of alluvial sedimentary systems, and on karst landscape processes.