​​​Water bore

Types of Aquifer

An aquifer is a geological unit capable of storing and transmitting useful quantities of groundwater.

Aquifers may be confined or unconfined and are often classified according to the three types of water storage within them:

Karst Aquifers

A fourth type, karst aquifers, are a special type of fractured rock aquifer where the fractures have been dissolved to form larger solution cavitities.

Tasmanian Aquifer Framework

The first version of the Tasmanian Aquifer Framework has been developed as a part of the "Assistance for development of Hydrogeological Units - Tasmania Project". It has been carried out as subproject of BOM's "National Aquifer Framework Project (NAF)" by the Groundwater Section of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. The main initial objective of this project was to assist in the development of the National Hydrogeological Units (HGUs) that can be used by the State as a starting point for population of BOM's National Groundwater Information System (NGIS) Core Database Model and for future development of more detailed Tasmanian HGUs and aquifer classifications.

A common understanding of the definition of aquifers and aquitards is critical to the on-going discussion about the sustainable management of groundwater resources. A unified aquifer framework allows a consistent approach to groundwater resource investigation and management and provides a common communication language. The development of a system of hydrogeological units, hydrogeological complexes and an associated aquifer listing will contribute towards the overall groundwater management and resource assessments.

You can access the framework document here:

  Tasmanian Aquifer Framework   (15Mb)

Please note that for full interactive options it is advised that you download the document to your PC.

Further Information

For an easy to follow guide to groundwater processes, a suggested read is Introducing Groundwater by M. Price (publishers George Allen and Unwin).