Since 2011, we have been recording the water percolating into caves across Australia. At Yarrangobilly, we have data from a network of automated drip loggers in Harrie Wood Cave for over 6 years.

We use this drip loggers to identify recharge events. By comparison to the surface rainfall record, we can then calculate how much rainfall is needed before recharge can occur. Because we have a network of loggers, we can also investigate how variable recharge is both in space and time.

Datasets are available for Honours project work, with fieldwork also possible to see the drip logger sites (NB Yarrangobilly is still to reopen after the bushfires). The projects would suit anyone who is happy to handle large time-series datasets and gain some skills in data science. Training would be provided. There is also a possibility to gain lumped parameter modelling skills to understand the amount of water storage in the soil and karst system.

For further reading, see Baker, A., Berthelin, R., Cuthbert, M.O., Treble, P.C., Hartmann, A. and the KSS Cave Studies Team. Rainfall recharge thresholds in a subtropical climate determined using a regional cave drip water monitoring network. Journal of Hydrology, 587, 125001.

This project is a collaboration with Dr. Pauline Treble and her ANSTO research team.


Determine how much rain is needed to recharge groundwater at Yarrangobilly, Snowy Mountains.

Student benefits

You will receive training in various aspects of data science (data handling screening and management), time series analysis and hands-on environmental monitoring skills (data download, equipment maintenance, field calibration), and working with industry partners.

Supervisor: Prof Andy Baker and Dr. Pauline Treble (ANSTO)

Get involved

To learn more about this project, contact Prof Andy Baker.