The Centre For Water Research

Past CWR Seminars

CWR Seminar: Using atmospheric eddy covariance measurements to estimate recharge through Banksia woodland over Gnangara groundwater mound.
Date 09/04/2014 at 16:00:00
Venue Blakers Lecture Room, Ground Floor, Mathematics Building, The University of Western Australia.
Speaker Dr Richard Silberstein, Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader, Salinity Research Directorate,Land And Water, CSIRO

Banksia woodland coves half the recharge area to the Gnangara Mound, Perth’s most important water resource. To help understand the water balance and carbon balance of this native woodland we have installed an eddy covariance system measuring the atmospheric turbulence and scalar fluxes above the vegetation.

It is coupled to soil moisture monitoring and a piezometer network to enable closing the water balance. The site, 70 km north of Perth, has been selected as representative of the recharge area and its ecological value. These measurements enable a better calculation of recharge to the groundwater under this ecosystem than previously available, and will monitor how the vegetation is responding to changes in climate and other influences.

We now have nearly two years of measurement that enable estimation of recharge and the dynamics of carbon assimilation in the woodland. This work comes from a site in the OzFlux network of atmospheric flux stations around Australia, and is supported by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) of the Australian Government, and CSIRO under its Climate and Atmosphere Theme.


Dr Richard Silberstein is a catchment hydrologist investigating interactions between vegetation and surface and groundwater, particularly in the context of a drying climate. He is the Groundwater-Vegetation interactions Team Leader in CSIRO Land and Water.

His research interests include modelling vegetation response to climate, soil, water and salt conditions, field and modelling studies of catchment forest dynamics and water yield, recharge under changing land use and climate, and ecosystem function and landscape water balance through multiple techniques, including atmospheric fluxes, soil and vegetation monitoring and remote sensing.

Dr Silberstein currently leads the surface water modelling in the Pilbara Water Resources Assessment of CSIRO’s Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship. He previously led a similar component of the South-west Western Australia Sustainable Yields Project and a Water Foundation Project 'Vegetation dynamics and water yield under changing climate and management' which studied the interactions between catchment vegetation growth and stream flow in the context of changing climate and historical forestry.

PS* This seminar is free and open to the public & no RSVP required.

****All Welcome****

Facilitator Clelia Marti
Organiser Askale Abebe
Student Host Wencai Zhou

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