Oral Presentation Australian Society for Limnology Congress 2013

Integration of wetlands into the Hydrogeological Landscapes Framework for the southern tablelands of southeast NSW (#19)

Alison Cowood 1 , Leah Moore 1 , Allan Nicholson 2 , Donna Hazell 3
  1. University of Canberra, Belconnen, ACT, Australia
  2. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wellington, NSW, Australia
  3. Southern Rivers CMA, Braidwood, NSW, Australia

The Hydrogeological Landscape (HGL) Framework provides an interdisciplinary structure for the understanding of how water and materials are distributed and hazards manifest within the landscape. The HGL Framework has been adopted by the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority as a natural resource management (NRM) tool for salinity hazard identification and mitigation. To expand the applicability to NRM, this project was designed to adapt the HGL Framework for wetland management and climate change hazard, providing an innovative conceptual framework for wetland characterisation, typing and behaviour.

The project aimed to divide the southeast NSW landscape into areas of similar hydrological characteristics (HGL units) and investigate spatial variability of wetland presence and wetland types within the landscape. These two components were conceptually integrated before field testing and validation was undertaken to define management areas and develop specific management strategies.

A total of 34 HGL Units have been produced for the southern tablelands study area, each with a unique conceptual model of the functioning of surface and groundwater systems, based on the climate, topography, geology, regolith, soil and vegetation characteristics of the landscape. Wetland types that will change hydrologically due to climate change are: inland billabongs, floodplain or rainfall/runoff swamps and freshwater lakes, upland hanging swamps, bogs, fens and freshwater lakes, alpine bogs, fens and glacial lakes and riverine wetlands.

This presentation will focus on four HGL Units, the wetland types within them, how climate change will impact the surface and groundwater systems and influence the presence of wetland types within the landscape.