Open Cut

Maintenance of Geomorphic Processes in Bowen Basin River Diversions

Open Cut » Environment

Published: July 02Project Number: C8030_C9068

Get ReportAuthor: Ross Hardie, Karen White | Fisher Stewart, ID&A, Earth Technology

The project builds upon knowledge acquired from two past ACARP Projects, being:

  • (C8030) Maintenance of Geomorphic Processes in Bowen Basin River Diversions
  • (C9068) Monitoring Geomorphic Processes in Bowen Basin River Diversions

Location of the Investigation
The project is based on the streams within the Bowen Basin Coal Field of Central Queensland. More specifically, the investigation has comprised review of form and processes of streams of similar type to that encountered by mining operations within the Bowen Basin. The streams are largely within the Fitzroy River Basin. However, as the coal measure extends beyond the catchment of the Fitzroy River, a number of streams outside the Fitzroy basin have been included in the investigation. The region is shown in Figure 1.1.

Need for the Investigation
The need for this project arose from a deficiency in quantitative guidelines for diversion design and rehabilitation in the Bowen Basin. Based on the outcomes of the work completed to date, there is now a higher level of understanding of the key features of, and processes occurring in, rivers and diversions of the Bowen Basin. This understanding highlighted the need for targeted research to quantify the key parameters that affect and dictate the shape and form of the rivers and streams of the Bowen Basin. These parameters form the basis of criteria that can be applied to the design and rehabilitation of diversions in the semi-arid region of the Bowen Basin.

The design of river diversions in the Bowen Basin is currently based on knowledge gained from processes occurring in rivers and streams of North America, Europe and southeast Australia. Much of this knowledge has been gained from perennial streams within humid regions. Transferring design parameters developed for perennial streams to intermittent streams is problematic due to the considerable variability between the two environments.

The poor level of information available for design and rehabilitation of diversions increases the risk of under-design (on-going failures) and over-design (excess cost) of diversions. As no agreed basis for design exists, the level of design and confidence of results varies markedly between mine sites and diversions. This research project seeks to quantify key parameters that can be used to assist the design of new diversions and the rehabilitation of existing diversions in the Bowen Basin.

This report and the outcomes contained do not replace the need for detailed geomorphic assessment of stream systems as the basis for design of diversions and rehabilitation efforts. Indeed a thorough geomorphic investigation should form the basis for any stream diversion design and rehabilitation program. Adjoining reaches of stream form useful "templates" for design and rehabilitation of river diversions. However, diversion construction can change the nature of a stream channel. The diversion of the watercourse may result or have resulted in a stream with a regularly engaged floodplain being laterally confined with limited opportunity for floodplain engagement. Similarly, some diversions may change a confined stream into one with a constructed and regularly engaged floodplain. In these circumstances, adjoining reaches of the same stream may not provide useful templates for design. In the absence of "templates" for stream design, parameters developed from research in other regions of Australia and overseas are adopted. These parameters offer a limited basis for design as they have been developed for streams in other regions of the world with a range of different influences and characteristics.

The purpose of this investigation is to provide parameters for design in the Bowen Basin based on research on the stream shape and form from within the basin.

Objectives of the Project

  • improved basis for diversion design and rehabilitation
  • improved understanding of geomorphic processes and how they affect diversion design
  • more efficient use of time and resources in effectively managing diversions
  • increased probability of mines obtaining short term re-licensing for diversions
  • increased understanding of requirements to achieve long term sign-off
  • reduced risk to mine operations and personnel safety by improving diversion design
  • improved environmental performance of diversions and mines

Analysis of Results
The data collected was compiled to identify the occurrence and range of three parameters, the velocities, shear stress and stream powers, in natural rivers and streams throughout the region. The information was used to develop an understanding of the link between these hydrologic and hydraulic parameters and the shape, size and occurrence of geomorphic units within the stream systems. These geomorphic units include but are not limited to: meanders, benches, terraces, low flow channels, active channels and high flow channels.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C26047Real Time Dust Monitor

The aim of this project was to develop a real time respirable dust m...

C29034Integrated Roadway Development: A Strategic Industry Review

This report describes the outcomes of a strategic review of Australi...

C26062New Outburst Risk Determination Measures Along With Data Gathering And Analysis For Coal Burst Assessment

Bursts are events that expel material at velocity at the time of eje...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C27009Tailings Revegetation Project Through “The Vegetative Water Pump”

This project aimed to greatly reduce the water trapped below the cru...

C29043Design, Construction And Commissioning Of Tyre Handler Test Apparatus

C29030Mapping Of Elemental Coal Content For Exploration And Mining

This project has analysed the concentrations of 50 elements not typi...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26010Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency With Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids And Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and the...

C28059Impact Of Water Quality In Coal Handling And Preparations Plants

The objective of this project was to deliver a concise reference do...

C27026Ultra-Low Ash Coal By 3D Binder Flotation

The objective of this project was to investigate the potential to pr...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C28067Characterisation Of Complex Coal Blends, And Methodology To Investigate Thermal Coals Based On Compositional Analysis

This project built on the outcomes from project C25049 (Fusibility ...

C29077The Effects Of Ash Minerals On Coke Reactivity At High Temperatures

An investigation into how coke mineralogy affects coke reactivity ha...

C28072Mineral Re-Distribution From Raw Coal To Pulverised Fuel (Pf) Coal To Ash In Commercial Power Stations

This project was based on understanding how minerals in thermal coal...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

Ventilation air methane (VAM) generally accounts for 50-85% of the t...

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook