From 1 - 10 / 107
  • The Exploring for the Future program Showcase 2022 was held on 8-10 August 2022. Day 1 (8th August) included a talk on: - Exploring for the Future - The value of precompetitive geoscience - Dr Andrew Heap Showcase Day 1 https://youtu.be/M9jC_TyovCc

  • The structural evolution of the South Nicholson region is not well understood, hindering full appraisal of the resource potential across the region. Here, we outline new insights from a recent deep-reflection seismic survey, collected as part of the Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future initiative. The new seismic profiles, and new field observations and geochronology, indicate that the South Nicholson region was characterised by episodic development of a series of ENE-trending half grabens. These graben structures experienced two major episodes of extension, at ca. 1725 Ma and ca. 1640 Ma, broadly correlating with extensional events identified from the Lawn Hill Platform and the Mount Isa Province to the east. Southward stratal thickening of both Calvert and Isa Superbasin sequences (Paleoproterozoic Carrara Range and McNamara groups, respectively) into north-dipping bounding faults is consistent with syndepositional extension during half graben formation. Subsequent basin inversion, and reactivation of the half graben bounding faults as south-verging thrusts, appears to have been episodic. The observed geometry and offset are interpreted as the cumulative effect of multiple tectonic events, including the Isan Orogeny, with thrust movement on faults occurring until at least the Paleozoic Alice Springs Orogeny. <b>Citation:</b> Carson, C.J.. Henson, P.A., Doublier, M.P., Williams, B., Simmons, J., Hutton, L. and Close, D., 2020. Structural evolution of the South Nicholson region: insight from the 2017 L210 reflection seismic survey. In: Czarnota, K., Roach, I., Abbott, S., Haynes, M., Kositcin, N., Ray, A. and Slatter, E. (eds.) Exploring for the Future: Extended Abstracts, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, 1–4.

  • To improve understanding of basins and basement structures, and of the energy, mineral and groundwater resource potential of northern Australia, deep crustal seismic surveys were conducted, totalling 2787 line-km, between June 2017 and November 2019 as a part of Exploring for the Future program. Reflection seismic profiles provide the highest fidelity imaging of crustal-scale subsurface architecture and therefore have become the industry standard for energy exploration, and their use in mineral and groundwater applications is growing. Here, we document the acquisition of composite deep reflection seismic profiles (20 sec, ~60 km depth). The focus is on imaging new terranes, and resolving frontier basin and crustal architecture. Seismic data were acquired stretching from the Beetaloo Sub-basin to the Mt Isa western succession in the Northern Territory and Queensland, as well as in the Kidson Sub-basin in Western Australia. Raw data for these surveys are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au, and processed data are publicly available from the Geoscience Australia website at https://www.ga.gov.au/about/projects/resources/seismic. <b>Citation:</b> Fomin, T., Holzschuh, J., Costelloe, R.D., and Henson, P., 2020. Deep northern Australian 2D seismic reflections surveys. In: Czarnota, K., Roach, I., Abbott, S., Haynes, M., Kositcin, N., Ray, A. and Slatter, E. (eds.) Exploring for the Future: Extended Abstracts, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, 1–4.

  • A key challenge in exploring Australian onshore sedimentary basins is limited seismic data coverage. Consequently, well logs are often the main datasets that can be used to understand the subsurface geology. The primary aim of this study was to develop a methodology for visualising the three-dimensional (3D) tectonostratigraphic architecture of sedimentary basins using well data, which can then be used to quickly screen areas warranting more detailed studies of resource potential. This project has developed a workflow that generates 3D well correlations using sequence stratigraphic well tops to visualise the regional structural and stratigraphic architecture of the Amadeus, Canning, Officer and Georgina basins in the Centralian Superbasin. Thirteen Neoproterozoic‒Paleozoic supersequence tops were interpreted in 134 wells. Three-dimensional well correlations provide an effective regional visualisation of the tectonostratigraphic architecture across the main depocentres. This study redefines the Centralian Superbasin as encompassing all western, northern and central Australian basins that had episodically interconnected depositional systems driven by regional subsidence during one or more regional tectonic events between the Neoproterozoic and middle Carboniferous. The Centralian Superbasin began to form during Neoproterozoic extension, and underwent several phases of partial or complete disconnection and subsequent reconnection of depositional systems during various regional tectonic events before final separation of depocentres at the culmination of the Alice Springs Orogeny. Regional 3D correlation diagrams have been generated to show the spatial distribution of these supersequences, which can be used to visualise the distribution of stratigraphic elements associated with petroleum, mineral and groundwater systems. <b>Citation: </b>Bradshaw, B., Khider, K., MacFarlane, S., Rollet, N., Carr, L. and Henson, P., 2020. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Centralian Superbasin (Australia) revealed by three-dimensional well correlations. In: Czarnota, K., Roach, I., Abbott, S., Haynes, M., Kositcin, N., Ray, A. and Slatter, E. (eds.) Exploring for the Future: Extended Abstracts, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, 1–4.

  • This report presents key results of groundwater barometric response function development and interpretation from the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project in North Queensland, conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF)—an eight year, $225 million Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources across Australia. The Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Government. It focuses on basalt groundwater resources in two geographically separate areas: the Nulla Basalt Province (NBP) in the south and the McBride Basalt Province (MBP) in the north. The NBP and MBP basalt aquifers are heterogeneous, fractured, vesicular systems. This report assesses how water levels in monitoring bores in the NBP and MBP respond to barometric pressure changes to evaluate the degree of formation confinement. The main process used to evaluate water level response to barometric pressure in this study is based on barometric efficiency (BE). The BE of a formation is calculated by dividing the change in monitoring bore water level by the causative barometric pressure change. Both parameters are expressed in the same units, so BE will typically be some fraction between zero and one. BE is not necessarily constant over time; the way BE changes following a theoretical step change in barometric pressure can be described using a barometric response function (BRF). BRFs were calculated in the time domain and plotted as BE against time lag for interpretation. The BRF shape was used to assess the degree of formation confinement. Although there is some uncertainty due to monitoring bore construction issues (including long effective screens) and potentially air or gas trapped in the saturated zone, all BRFs in the current project are interpreted to indicate unconfined conditions. This finding is supported by the identification of recharge at many monitoring bores through hydrograph analysis in other EFTF project components. We conclude that formations are likely to be unconfined at many project monitoring bores assessed in this study.

  • <p>Exploring for the Future (EFTF) is a four year $100.5 million initiative by the Australian Government that aims to boost northern Australia's attractiveness as a destination for investment in resource exploration. As part of this program, Geoscience Australia has been tasked with gathering new pre-competitive data and information concerning potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources concealed beneath the surface, on an unprecedented scale. To ensure the program has the greatest impact Geoscience Australia will use innovative techniques in greenfield areas where the resource potential is completely unknown at a semi-continental scale. <p>A major EFTF output is the acquisition of deep crustal seismic reflection data. The first tranche of this was completed in early August 2017 in the region between the southern McArthur Basin to the Mt Isa western succession, crossing the South Nicholson Basin and Murphy Province. Prior to this survey, the region contained no seismic data and minimal well data. <p>This new seismic data will support exploration activities by providing a better understanding of the basin and basement architecture and structural evolution of the region, and assist in identifying geological terrains with resource potential. The preliminary processed data was released at the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar in March 2018 (Henson et al., 2018). This record presents the interpreted data alongside a geological summary of the region including the McArthur Basin, South Nicholson Basin and Mount Isa Orogen and provides a baseline for further studies in the region including the identification of a new sub-basin and presentation of current knowledge of the stratigraphy and geochemistry. <p>The new seismic reflection data acquired over the South Nicholson Basin as part of the Exploring for the Future program has outlined many areas of future opportunity. Geoscience Australia is currently pursuing an exciting program building upon previous work in the region, including extensive geochemical and geochronological studies aiming to build a greater understanding of the stratigraphy imaged by the seismic data. Further, our work in this region has already demonstrated the complicated and poorly understood nature of the stratigraphy and structural relationships within the region.

  • The onshore Canning Basin in Western Australia is the focus of a regional hydrocarbon prospectivity assessment being undertaken by the Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program, an Australian Government initiative dedicated to increasing investment in resource exploration in northern Australia. This data release provides data from new digital photography, X-ray Computerised Tomography (XCT) scanning, unconfined compressive strength (UCS) testing, laboratory ultrasonic testing, and gas porosity and permeability experiments for six samples from the Geoscience Australia and Geological Survey of Western Australia drilled stratigraphic well Waukarlycarly 1. Additional low permeability tests were undertaken on four samples which were identified as being ultra-tight (permeability <1 µD). These samples were analysed at CSIRO Geomechanics and Geophysics Laboratory in Perth during May and June 2020.

  • This fact sheet sets out the goals, vision and benefits of the Exploring for the Future program, as well as the ways we conduct fieldwork and what the information gathered is used for.

  • This report presents key results from the Daly River groundwater project conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF), an Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program. The four-year (2016-20) program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources in northern Australia. In this investigation we use models of sub-surface bulk electrical conductivity within the geological Daly Basin to model the depth of the interface between the Jinduckin Formation and the overlying Oolloo Dolostone. The Olloo dolostone is the most extracted aquifer in the Daly basin, while the Jinduckin Formation is an aquitard separating the Olloo from the lower Tindall Limestone aquifer. Airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data acquired across the basin were inverted with both deterministic and stochastic methods to generate a suite of bulk electrical conductivity models. Comparison with boreholes suggested that the Jinduckin Formation is significantly more conductive than the Oolloo Dolostone and this interface is well resolved in these AEM conductivity models. We developed an interactive plot for visualising the probability distribution of bulk conductivities for AEM points inverted with the stochastic inversion routine. We interpreted 389 AEM points using this approach and used interpolation to derive a new stratigraphic Olloo—Jinduckin surface. The new surface is generally deeper than current models of the interface, which were derived by interpolating stratigraphic picks from boreholes. In the data-sparse south-west of the Daly Basin the new geological surface is up to 390 m deeper than what is currently mapped. This new interface can be used to better constrain aquifer architecture in groundwater flow modelling and support groundwater management of this region. The method developed for interpreting stratigraphy directly from the posterior probability distribution of electrical conductivity is applicable for other geophysical interpretation tasks.

  • This report presents the results of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses on 2 core samples from the GSWA Waukarlycarly 1 stratigraphic well drilled in the Canning Basin. The well was drilled as part of a co-funded collaboration between Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) aimed at gathering new subsurface data on the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources in the southern Canning Basin. The collaboration resulted in the acquisition of the Kidson Deep Crustal Seismic Reflection Survey in 2018; and the drilling of deep stratigraphic well GSWA Waukarlycarly 1, located along the Kidson Sub-basin seismic line within the Waukarlycarly Embayment in 2019 (Figure 1). GSWA Waukarlycarly 1 reached a total depth of 2680.53 m at the end of November 2019 and was continuously cored through the entire Canning Basin stratigraphy. Coring was complemented by the acquisition of a standard suite of wireline logs and a vertical seismic profile. The work presented in this report constitutes part of the post well data acquisition. The purpose of the SEM analysis was to determine mineralogy and textural relationships between grains, verify the presence of organic material at the micro-scale, document i) the presence of diagenetic alterations to the detrital mineral assemblage and ii) eventual distribution of visible pores.