Dr Mauricio Taulis
This person does not currently hold a position at QUT.
BiographyMauricio is an Environmental Engineer who specializes in Hydrogeology - he is interested in issues related to both quantity and quality of water. Mauricio’s current research encompasses the fields of hydrochemistry, environmental science, and groundwater modelling. Throughout his career, he has worked with resource developers, mining companies, research organisations, and government councils.
Mauricio’s current research work focuses on developing techniques for effectively managing co-produced waters resulting from unconventional gas extraction. He is particularly interested in addressing the environmental issues associated with Coal Seam Gas (CSG) operations (e.g. aquifer depressurisation, water characterisation, treatment, beneficial use, and disposal options for CSG Waters). Mauricio is currently investigating the potential occurrence of dissolved organic compounds in associated waters resulting from CSG activities in Queensland.
In addition, Mauricio’s research work includes the stochastic generation of weather data, sanitary landfill design, and modelling of leachate generation. Also, he is interested in the potential environmental implications arising from mining activities (e.g. coal, copper, and nickel) with special emphasis on groundwater impacts.
Geology, Environmental Engineering, Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008
- PhD (University of Canterbury)
Professional memberships and associations
Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)
International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH)
- Groundwater Systems (NQB614)
- Economic Geology (NQB 512)
- Environmental Modelling (NQB 501)
- Earth Surface Systems (NQB 302)
- Environmental Pollution (EVB 302)
- Environmental Resource Management (ENB 383)
Agricultural soils project, Theten Agricultural Research Centre, Arrow Energy and QUT, 2014 - present
Commercial research project (AU$222,426) to understand the long term effects on agricultural soils irrigated with CSG Water. The project will consist of an experimental research component and a modelling component to predict sodium adsorption on soils overt time. This work is currently being carried out and is due to be completed late in 2014.
Assessment of dissolved organic compounds in CSG Water, Surat and Bowen Basins, Arrow Energy and QUT, 2012 - 2014
Commercial research project (draft report completed) valued at AU$196,334. The aim of this study is to assess the potential occurrence of dissolved organic compounds in CSG Water from the Surat and Bowen basins in Queensland. This project was carried out for a CSG operator (Arrow Energy) and it consisted of a desktop review and extensive laboratory work involving the leaching of coal with water, acetic acid, and sodium hypochlorite.
ARC Linkage Project collaboration, QUT, 2011 - 2012
A screening Human Health Risk Assessment for developing Coal Seam Gas water resources in Queensland, Australia. Project partners include University of Queensland, MBA Petroleum, Queensland University of Technology, and The University of Texas at Dallas.
PhD in Civil (Environmental) Engineering, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 2003-2007
PhD project to study the nature of Coal Seam Gas waters in New Zealand, assessing potential environmental impacts, modelling of impacts, and treatment methods using natural zeolites as a natural ion exchange media. This thesis was supported by field/site investigations for data collection, laboratory work, GIS as well as statistical and geochemical modelling.
HELP Model Calibration for Specific Weather Conditions New Zealand, 2001
This project consisted of calibrating the weather generator (WGEN), embedded in the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) model, so that that students and researchers are able to use this model in New Zealand. This resulted in a shareware tool with a GUI interface that can be downloaded from the University of Canterbury website.
ME in Natural Resources, Lincoln University, New Zealand, 2000-2001
Calibration of the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) model so that it could be used and applied in Chile. The weather interface of the HELP model was converted to Visual Basic 6 (from Quickbasic) and specific model parameters were calculated for Chilean weather. This involved modifying statistical properties within the Fortran code and associated files. The final software was used in a case study of a Sanitary Landfill in Santiago.
Civil Engineering thesis, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1999
Computer modelling (RCCOLA and ETABS) of a tall building in Santiago to calculate additional resistance to earthquakes due to unaccounted plasticity effects and additional reinforcements.
2) Academic experience
Teaching and course coordination, Queensland University of Technology, 2010-2014
Teaching support and lecturing in the following courses: Groundwater Systems (NQB614), Environmental Modelling (NQB501), Economic Geology (NQB512), Earth Surfaces Systems (NQB302), Design of Environmentally Sustainable Systems (ENB274), and STEMP VC Camp. Course involvement ranged from regular teaching to coordinating course sections. In 2013, duties extended to teaching and coordination the whole NQB501 course.
Soils irrigated with CSG Water, MSc project co supervision, QUT, 2014 -present
Supervision of MSc project characterising soils and assessing potential impacts due to irrigation with water co-produced with coal seam gas extraction. This project has in kind support from Arrow Energy. Student: Atika Januarysia.
HELP/WGEN model adaptation, MSc project supervision, QUT, 2014- present
Supervision of MSc project focusing on adapting the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) model to enable its correct application in Queensland. This project will result in a new GUI including specific soil information and stochastic weather data (WGEN) for QLD. This work is currently being carried out and is due to be completed late in mid-2015. Student: Markus Bauerle
External thesis examiner, ME project, University of Canterbury, 2014
External examiner for a Master project focusing on assessing soil sorption of landfill leachate. The study site was the Kate Valley site, North Canterbury, New Zealand.
Stream-alluvial aquifer, PhD co supervision, QUT 2014-present
Co supervision of a PhD project studying the hydrological processes of Teviot Brook, SE Queensland. The study focuses on investigating processes affecting a stream and its underlying alluvium. Student: Clement Duvert.
Galillee/ Eromanga Basins PhD Projects, co supervision, QUT, 2011- present
"Subregional hydrogeology, stratigraphy, and hydrochemistry of the Galillee Basin: identification of aquifers, aquitards, and coal seams", PhD project by Claudio Moya. "Characterisation and modeling of hydraulic properties of sedimentary formations within Galilee/Eromanga Basins, Queensland", PhD project (completed) by Zhenjiao Jiang.
Cressbrook Creek Alluvium, PhD project co supervision, QUT, 2010-2014
Hydrogeological assessment of the Cressbrook Creek alluvial aquifer system, southeast Queensland. Conceptual hydrogeological model, hydrological processes, and response to floods. Student: Adam King (completed).
Laidley Creek modelling, PhD project co supervision, QUT, 2010-2013
Hydrogeological framework and numerical modelling of the Laidley Creek catchment within the Lockyer Valley. The project encompassed a numerical simulation (using MODFLOW) to test data validity and predict system behavior. Student: Pavel Dvoracek (completed)
Bribie Island groundwater model calibration, dissertation supervision, QUT, 2013
Supervision of dissertation project (graduate diploma in applied science) exploring automatic calibration techniques to calibrate a model of Bribie Island created using Processing MODFLOW. Student: Alyx Mikko Guarin (completed)
Review of CSG Water Management options report, Office of Water Science (OWS), AU Government, 2013
Critical scientific review of a report to address the options for the management, and use of co-produced water, brines, and associated salts, and heavy metal concentrates. The final review report was submitted to the OWS which is part of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
External Supervisor (Master of Philosophy student), UQ, 2012-2013
External Supervisor for Maryam Navi. M.Phil. Thesis entitled "Human Exposure Assessment of Coal Seam Gas Water in Queensland". Co-supervising with Associate Professor Chris Skelly.
Surat and Bowen Basin CSG project supervision, QUT, 2011
"Hydrochemistry of Coal Seam Gas Water in Queensland and Implications for Human Health", honours project by William Stearman, 2011.
Mapping of shallow coastal groundwater, Pumicestone Catchment, ME project co supervision, QUT, 2010-2011
Study to determine the distribution of limiting nutrients for Lyngbya majuscula cyanobacterium in coastal groundwaters. The study mapped geochemistry of shallow groundwaters in the Pumicestone catchment with emphasis of nutrients of concern. Student: Ha Thi Thu Phan (completed).
3) Professional projects
UWIR Modelling Aquifer Depressurisation, Bowen Basin, CDM Smith, 2013
External consulting work. A groundwater flow model was conceptualised and assembled using Surfer and Visual Modflow. The model predicts aquifer depressurisation in aquifer units adjacent to the Baralaba Coal Measures in the Bowen Basin, and was validated according to water production forecasts.
Project Review, Environmental Defender's Office, 2012
Review of the groundwater section of the T4 Environmental Assessment report for the construction of the T4 terminal near Newcastle (Port Waratah Coal Services Ltd).
Review of Groundwater Assessment report for Waratah Coal, E3 Consult, 2010
Peer review of groundwater assessment and numerical model for the Galilee Coal Project – Northern Export Facility Project (China First Project). The report focused on assessing the status of groundwater within the project areas, the potential risks to groundwater, and management measures (including a numerical model) to mitigate potential impacts.
Hydrogeological Assistance, Minera Escondida Ltd, Antofagasta, Chile, 2010
Hydrogeological assistance towards a preliminary environmental impact study for the abstraction of water from a deep aquifer discharging into a salt marsh (Salar de Punta Negra). Work included the compilation of water data (quality and quantity), proposing specific numerical modeling, and geochemical characterization.
Groundwater modelling of Waisoi open cast mine, Fiji New Zealand, 2009
Groundwater modelling (steady state and transient flow simulations) was carried out to assess the construction sequence and depressurisation requirements for the excavation of two copper mine pits at Waisoi, Fiji. This analysis was carried out using SEEP/w according to existing data and documented field observations.
Audit of ECAN pumping tests and groundwater models New Zealand, 2009
Review of various pumping test calculations and groundwater modelling carried out by third party consultants on behalf of Environment Canterbury (ECAN). This work is part of ECAN's review process and quality assurance policy.
Hydrogeologic Assessment of Palmerston Landfill New Zealand 2009
This assessment focused on the compilation of available information to produce a preliminary conceptual hydrogeologic model of Palmerston Landfill. This included a comprehensive review of existing geological and topographical information as well as current landfill operations and plans. Particular emphasis was given to the aspect of Boron contamination.
Taupo Pellet Plant - Infiltration through soakage pit New Zealand, 2009
Solid Energy Renewable Fuels Ltd (Solid Energy) operates a wood pellet production plant at Taupo. This work focused on assessing the stormwater disposal options and, in particular, the installation of stormwater soakage pits. This work documented the structure of the soakage pit and the infiltration test procedure, results and calculation procedure used to estimate the potential infiltration rate (soakage potential) associated with this particular soakage pit design.
Pike River Rejects Seepage Study New Zealand, 2008
Assessment of the seepage flow rates associated with rejects disposal at Pike River Coal Mine (PRCM). Particular seepage parameters used in the calculation include disposal volumes, duration of operation, moisture content, and field capacity.
Cardrona Pumping Test New Zealand, 2008
Analysis of Step Test and Constant Discharge Test for a newly drilled well in Central Otago. Work included data massaging and interpretation prior to analysis with Aquifer Test software.
Goro project drilling supervision New Caledonia, 2008
This work consisted of supervising drilling operations on top of an earth embankment for a tailings dam. Rock and soil materials were logged according to standards and water levels measured using a manual dipper.
- Stearman W, Taulis M, Smith J, Corkeron M, (2014) Assessment of geogenic contaminants in water co-produced with coal seam gas extraction in Queensland, Australia: implications for human health risk, Geosciences, 4 (3), pp. 219-239.
- Navi M, Skelly C, Taulis M, Nasiri S, (2015) Coal seam gas water: potential hazards and exposure pathways in Queensland, International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 25 (2), pp. 162-183.
- Taulis M, Milke M, (2013) Chemical variability of groundwater samples collected from a Coal Seam Gas exploration well, Maramarua, New Zealand, Water Research, 47 (3), pp. 1021-1034.
- Jiang Z, Mariethoz G, Taulis M, Cox M, (2013) Determination of vertical hydraulic conductivity of aquitards in a multilayered leaky system using water-level signals in adjacent aquifers, Journal of Hydrology, 500 (1), pp. 170-180.
- Taulis M, Cox M, Todd A, Hawke A, Raiber M, James A, (2011) Bribie Island groundwater resources : challenges in development of conceptual and numerical models, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 117, pp. 101-118.
- Taulis M, (2010) Australia and New Zealand CBNG development and environmental implications. In KJ Reddy, Coalbed natural gas: Energy and environment, Nova Science Publishers, pp. 1-511.
- Taulis M, Milke M, (2009) Sodium removal from Maramarua CSG waters using Ngakuru zeolites, Proceedings of the 51st Water New Zealand's Annual Conference and Expo 2009, pp. 1-20.
- Taulis M, Milke M, (2007) Coal seam gas water from Maramarua, New Zealand: Characterisation and comparison to United States analogues, Journal of Hydrology (New Zealand), 46 (1), pp. 1-17.
- Taulis M, (2005) Metal contaminants in leachate from sanitary landfills. In TA Moore, A Black, DA Trumm, JA Centeno & JS Harding, Metal contaminants in New Zealand: sources, treatments, and effects on ecology and human health, Resolutionz Press, pp. 119-138.
- Taulis M, Milke M, (2005) Estimation of WGEN weather generation parameters in arid climates, Ecological Modelling, 184 (2-4), pp. 177-191.