Sven Arnold

Sven Arnold
CDM Smith, Senftenberg, Germany

MSc, PhD

About

48
Publications
9,671
Reads
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522
Citations
Introduction
Sven is an arid-zone hydrologist with more than 10 years of research, consulting and project management experience. He has proven technical expertise in the field of groundwater / soil water modelling, ecohydrology, water resources management, and post-mining land reclamation. Over the last nine years he was involved in diverse projects for the Coal Seam Gas / Mining Industry in Australia conducting research related to soil water movement, seed germination, and drought frequency analyses.
Additional affiliations
June 2015 - March 2017
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Research Fellow / Project Lead
Description
  • Groundwater recharge estimation in the Surat Basin, Australia
June 2013 - May 2015
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Consultant
Description
  • GROUNDWATER-VEGETATION interactions at North Stradbroke Island --- UNSATURATED zone modelling --- ENGINEERING of mine waste cover systems to maximise ET
January 2012 - December 2013
The University of Queensland
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Water Management in the Minerals Industry (online course)
Education
October 2006 - March 2010
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung
Field of study
  • Ecohydrology
October 2000 - September 2006

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
Full-text available
Eastern Australia has considerable mineral and energy resources, with areas of high biodiversity value co-occurring over a broad range of agro-climatic environments. Lack of water is the primary abiotic stressor for (agro)ecosystems in many parts of eastern Australia. In the context of mined land rehabilitation quantifying the severity–duration–fre...
Article
In ecosystems driven by water availability, plant community dynamics depend on complex interactions between vegetation, hydrology, and human water resources use. Along ephemeral rivers—where water availability is erratic—vegetation and people are particularly vulnerable to changes in each other’s water use. Sensible management requires that water s...
Article
Full-text available
Recolonisation of soil by macrofauna (especially ants, termites and earthworms) in rehabilitated open-cut mine sites is inevitable and, in terms of habitat restoration and function, typically of great value. In these highly disturbed landscapes, soil invertebrates play a major role in soil development (macropore configuration, nutrient cycling, bio...
Article
Full-text available
Meteorological drought indices based on precipitation and/or evaporation are commonly used to detect the presence, severity and duration of soil moisture droughts. However, it is debatable whether droughts can be adequately characterised using only precipitation and/evaporation, or whether more physical based methods using soil water deficits and p...
Article
The quantification of percolation processes and deep drainage rates in cracking clays is challenging due to the existence of multiple flow pathways, including desiccation crack networks, and the effect of variability in antecedent soil moisture and rain event properties. While most previous research on this topic focuses on long‐term average rates,...
Article
Poor soil physical conditions associated with low hydraulic conductivity and infiltration can limit salt leaching and reclamation; hence, land revegetation. Soil physical amendments such as wood chips and fine sand may be used to remediate the soil physical conditions and improve salt leaching, thus assisting with revegetation. To evaluate the succ...
Article
Poor soil physical conditions such as low hydraulic conductivity can limit salt depletion from surface soil. Altering the pore system by addition of organic and inorganic amendments may improve salt leaching as a reclamation strategy. Column studies were conducted to investigate salt leaching in amended and non-amended soil profiles. A one-dimensio...
Article
Full-text available
Study region: Eastern Australia Study focus: Long-term monitoring of soil moisture is a time- and cost-intensive challenge. Therefore, meteorological drought indices are commonly used proxies of periods of significant soil moisture deficit. However, the question remains whether soil moisture droughts can be adequately characterised using meteorolog...
Article
Direct seeding is an effective approach for plant re-establishment and revegetation of post-mining areas. However, germination of seeds is influenced by environmental stressors such as soil water conditions and salinity, eventually affecting revegetation success. In this study, we conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate the effect of water str...
Article
Measurement of soil moisture across depths using sensors is currently limited to point measurements or remote sensing technologies. Point measurements have limitations on spatial resolution, while the latter, although covering large areas may not represent real-time hydrologic processes, especially near the surface. The objective of the study was t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Deep drainage is the process that describes water percolating from the land surface to a depth below the root zone where it may contribute to groundwater recharge. Quantitative estimation of deep drainage through Vertisols is challenging, largely due to the unknown relative contributions from: (i) flow through the soil matrix; and (ii) flow along p...
Article
Full-text available
Recolonisation of soil by macrofauna (especially ants and termites) in rehabilitated open-cut mine sites is inevitable. In these highly disturbed landscapes, soil invertebrates play a major role in soil development (macropore configuration, nutrient cycling, bioturbation, etc.) and can influence hydrological processes such as infiltration and seepa...
Article
Full-text available
Droughts are one of the most devastating natural hazards, often causing severe economic and environmental damage. Across Eastern Australia climate is highly variable and frequent floods and droughts affect large areas over prolonged periods of time. Understanding the variations and trends in these weather extremes is critical for ecologists to asse...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When revegetation is a part of a rehabilitation strategy at mine sites in arid and semi-arid environments, its success can be strongly affected by the availability of water prior or during the time of seed dormancy, germination and early growth of seedlings. The semi-arid and arid environments of northern Australia are characterised by highly varia...
Article
Full-text available
Eastern Australia has considerable mineral and energy resources and areas of high biodiversity value co-occurring over a broad range of agro-climatic environments. Water is the primary abiotic stressor for (agro)ecosystems in many parts of Eastern Australia. In the context of mined land rehabilitation quantifying the severity-duration-frequency (SD...
Article
Full-text available
Initial soil water conditions play a critical role when seeding is the primary approach to revegetate post-mining areas. In some semi-arid climates, such as the Brigalow Belt Bioregion in eastern Australia, extensive areas are affected by open-cut mining. Together with erratic rainfall patterns and clayey soils, the Brigalow Belt denotes a unique b...
Article
In (semi-)arid environments, mine waste cover systems aim to minimise drainage into underlying hazardous wastes by maximising evaporation from the soil and transpiration from vegetation. We estimated the evapotranspiration (ET) for an area occupied by characteristic semi-arid native Australian plant species. Using an open top chamber, we measured d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Droughts are one of the most devastating natural hazards, often causing severe economic and environmental damage. Across Eastern Australia climate is highly variable and frequent floods and droughts affect large areas over prolonged periods of time. Understanding the variations and trends in these weather extremes is critical for ecologists to asse...
Article
Full-text available
Der Brigalow Belt im Osten Australiens ist von nährstoffreichen Tonböden, einem steilen Niederschlagsgradienten und der Akazienart Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) geprägt. Auf einer Fläche größer als die Deutschlands wurde seit Ende des 2. Weltkrieges Landwirtschaft und Kohlebergbau betrieben, was eine drastische Eindämmung der Bioregion auf weniger...
Preprint
Initial soil water conditions play a critical role when seeding is the primary approach of revegetation on post-mining areas. In some semi-arid climates, such as the Brigalow Belt Bioregion in eastern Australia, extensive areas are affected by surface mine developments. Together with erratic rainfall patterns and clayey soils water deficit is the p...
Data
Full-text available
This presentation elaborates on plant-water interaction at various scales in the Brigalow Belt Bioregion. Examples are presented at the scale of a catchment, a plant community, and an individual plant.
Article
Full-text available
The Brigalow Belt Bioregion − located between the sub-tropical coastline and semi-arid interior of eastern Australia − is a unique ecological area characterized by non/cracking clay soils that have high water-holding capacities, and rainfall patterns that are spatio-temporally erratic and unpredictable. These attributes have resulted in highly vari...
Article
Full-text available
In eastern Australia, the availability of water is critical for the successful rehabilitation of post-mining landscapes and climatic characteristics of this diverse geographical region are closely defined by factors such as erratic rainfall and periods of drought and flooding. Despite this, specific metrics of climate patterning are seldom incorpor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Groundwater-dependent ecosystems can be complex and depend on many interactions between vegetation, hydrology, and human water resources use. Particularly along ephemeral rivers such as the environment of the Kuiseb River in Namibia, where groundwater is replenished by temporary flash floods, vegetation and people are both vulnerable to changes in...
Article
Full-text available
Rehabilitation of post-mining sites in semi-arid/subtropical environments of eastern Australia have a general objective to establish specific types of native vegetation communities as defined in mine closure plans and in relation to the specific biotic and abiotic requirements of such communities. Critical for the success of rehabilitation is the a...
Article
In this study of native plant communities in the Brigalow Belt – a semi-arid bioregion of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia – an ecohydrological model was designed to investigate the complex feedback relationships existing between plant community traits and soil water dynamics among post-disturbance (i.e. mining and agricultural) landscapes...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigated the effect of water potential on seed germination of native species occurring in the Brigalow Belt - a semi-arid bioregion of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Seeds were germinated in PEG 6000 solution at nine osmotic potentials including equivalents of soil water conditions at saturation, field capacity, and permanent wil...
Article
Full-text available
We estimated the evapotranspiration (ET) for an area vegetated with characteristic semi-arid native Australian plant species on ET mine waste cover systems. These systems aim to minimise drainage into underlying hazardous wastes by maximising evaporation (E) from the soil surface and transpiration from vegetation. An open top chamber was used to me...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mine ecological monitoring schemes are often conducted only to address compliance and in some cases do not have the suffi cient statistical power or understanding of ecological systems to assess, quantitatively, the meeting of rehabilitation targets or mine impacts. Monitoring schemes for rehabilitation commonly rely on analogue sites or premining...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper the need to merge model development and empirical experiments to improve the understanding of ecohydrological systems is emphasised. An ecohydrological model is used as an example to: (1) classify models in ecology and hydrology according to the level of process detail and understanding of system behaviour, followed by (2) a descripti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Properties of the soil profile fundamentally control water-limited ecosystems. Soil water availability affects vegetation dynamics of plant communities, but is also affected by these communities in return. Understanding this eco-hydrological interplay and the role of physical soil restoration is crucial for successful rehabilitation and management...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigated the effect of water potential on seed germination of native species occurring in the Brigalow Belt – a semi-arid bioregion of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Seeds were germinated in PEG 6000 solution at nine osmotic potentials including equivalents of soil water conditions at saturation, field capacity, and permanent wil...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mining results in the production of waste rock and tailings material which, depending on geology and production techniques, can be sulfidic or contain elevated levels of metals. When such wastes are exposed to oxygen and water, hazardous drainage may occur, contaminating adjacent ecosystems. Australian legislation requires mining companies to preve...
Article
Full-text available
Hintergrund ber eine Milliarde Menschen leben in Gebieten, die von Wasserknappheit geprägt sind. Diese Gebiete machen etwa ein Drit-tel der terrestrischen Erdoberfläche aus. In 20 der 53 afrikanischen Län-der befinden sich über 90% der landwirtschaftlich genutzten Fläche in solch wasserlimitierten Regionen, was die soziale, ökologische und ökonomis...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ephemeral rivers are characterised by temporary surface flow that strongly varies between seasons and years. Along the river course often a coupled eco-hydrological vegetation-groundwater system has established, which is referred to as linear oasis, reflecting the ecological and socio-economic importance of ephemeral rivers in otherwise dry areas....
Thesis
Full-text available
Ephemeral rivers are located throughout the world’s arid regions. They are characterised by temporary surface flow that strongly varies between seasons and years. Along the river course often a coupled eco-hydrological vegetation-groundwater system has established, which is referred to as linear oasis, reflecting the ecological and socio-economic i...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we develop and apply a conceptual ecohydrological model to investigate the effects of model structure and parameter uncertainty on the simulation of veg-etation structure and hydrological dynamics. The model is applied for a typical water limited riparian ecosystem along an ephemeral river: the middle section of the Kuiseb River in Na...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we develop and apply a conceptual ecohydrological model to investigate the effects of model structure and parameter uncertainty on the prediction of vegetation structure and hydrological dynamics. The model is applied for a typical water limited riparian ecosystem along an ephemeral river: the middle section of the Kuiseb River in Nam...
Conference Paper
Ephemeral rivers are characterized by temporal surface flows, which result from highly variable rainfall events in arid regions. The riparian vegetation along these rivers represents a water-limited ecosystem, which is sensitive to hydrological change. These linear oases in otherwise dry landscapes have long been of importance to people and wildlif...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ephemeral rivers are characterized by temporal surface flows. These floods arise due to highly variable rainfall events in arid regions. For a sustainable resource management the simulation of the vegetation system has to take place by considering the dynamics of the hydrosystem simultaneously. We raise the following question: What are the dynamic...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The amount of water entering an aquifer as recharge is a critical factor in determining how water table levels change, the sustainable yields for groundwater extraction, and the impact of extractive industries on groundwater availability. However, the processes that govern this flux remain difficult to quantify, and are therefore considerable sources of uncertainty in modelling the groundwater balance and conducting impact assessments. Due to the geological complexity of the Surat and Bowen Basins, recharge can occur via multiple pathways along the basin margins, principally within the ‘intake beds’, where various geological strata come to surface outcrop, but other less direct pathways may also be important. The amount of recharge varies greatly both geographically across these different pathways due to physical and climatic factors. This research seeks to improve understanding of these recharge pathways and the variation in rates (in both space and time) across the basin. The research has been designed as a three-stage project combining desktop review, workshops, fieldwork, and modelling.