Stories From Gnangara Mound
The Gingin Environmental Monitoring Site
The Gingin site is located about 70 km north of Perth. The site houses specialised equipment to measure the movement of carbon dioxide, water and energy between the atmosphere and the native Banksia Woodland ecosystem. Below this woodland lies Perth’s most important groundwater resource – the Gnangara Mound aquifer. The water used by the woodland determines how much rainfall refills the groundwater aquifer. The water that enters the aquifer is called recharge.
Over the past 40 years, groundwater levels have decreased at a rate of 0.2m a year. Partly this is due to Perth’s use of water from the aquifers. Partly this is because we get less recharge today than we used to. Recharge depends on rainfall and evapotranspiration – including evaporation from the soil, but also (mostly) water use by plants. Rainfall amounts have declined in southwest WA since the 1970s, due to climate change. But the Banksia Woodland still needs to use water. How will this water use by the native vegetation change with less rainfall and higher temperatures? The answer to this question lies in the Gingin site’s data and will determine the sustainability of Perth’s water supply.
The data from the Gingin site is detailed, complex and there is a lot of it! Our project aims to find the stories within the data, and share them with you. Use the interactive dashboard to explore how rainfall, evaporation and recharge change over years, months and days. Browse our storyboard to learn what controls recharge and what might happen to it in the future.
Data Access and Analysis
The data was obtained From the Gingin TERN OzFlux website. It was analysed in a coding environment,