I am a PhD student investigating groundwater chemistry, groundwater/surface water exchange and carbon cycling in the Richmond River Catchment, a potential coal seam gas extraction region. I've performed  baseline ('before') geochemical assessments of groundwater by measuring dissolved methane gas, carbon stable isotopes, major ions and naturally occurring radioactive materials which may act as early indicators of aquifer connectivity. Currently I am analysing the spatial and temporal dynamics of interconnected creek and river sites to identify gaining groundwater segments, estimate dissolved carbon exports, and establish methane and dissolved carbon drivers. This research establishes regional-scale baseline groundwater and surface water conditions prior to coal seam gas development and should allow for ‘before and after’ comparisons if gas mining proceeds in the region. 

Contact: m.atkins.30@student.scu.edu.au

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