Identifying and quantifying recharge processes linked to ephemeral surface water features is challenging due to their episodic nature. We use a unique combination of well-established near-surface geophysical methods to provide evidence of a surface and groundwater connection under a small ephemeral recharge feature in a flat, semi-arid region near Adelaide, Australia. We use a seismic survey to obtain P-wave velocity through travel-time tomography and S-wave velocity through the multichannel analysis of surface waves. The ratios between P-wave and S-wave velocities allow us to infer the position of the water table. A separate survey was used to obtain electrical conductivity measurements from time-domain electromagnetics and water contents were acquired by downhole nuclear magnetic resonance. The combined geophysical observations provide evidence to support a groundwater mound underneath a subtle ephemeral feature. Our results suggest that recharge is localized and that small-scale ephemeral features play an important role in groundwater recharge. Furthermore, we show that a combined geophysical approach can provide a unique perspective that helps shape the hydrogeological conceptualization of a semi-arid region.
Bibliographical note© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
- semi-arid region