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  • single page item on stratigraphy issues relevant to Australian geologists. This column discusses international discussions on the global stratotype section and point (GSSP) concept, new developments in stratigrphic classification and upcoming opportunities to showcase Australian examples in 2012. Journal ISSN 0312 4711

  • The National Geochemical Survey of Australia (NGSA) project has collected catchment outlet sediment samples from 1315 sites located in 1186 catchments (~10% of which were sampled in duplicate) covering over 80% of Australia, in a collaborative venture between Geoscience Australia and the geoscience agencies of all States and the Northern Territory. At each site, composited samples were collected from two depth intervals: (1) the Top Outlet Sediment from 0-10 cm depth, and (2) the Bottom Outlet Sediment from 60-80 cm depth on average. In the laboratory, the samples were dried, homogenised and separated into two grain-size fractions: (1) a 'coarse' fraction (0-2 mm), and (2) a 'fine' fraction (0-75 um). All together, thus, 5260 samples were prepared for analysis. Bulk splits were also separated for the determination of bulk properties. Samples were analysed for up to 68 chemical elements after Total, Aqua Regia and Mobile Metal Ion digestion methods. Several quality control measures were taken throughout the project and the data quality was assessed in a separate report. This report used the acquired geochemical data to investigate the preliminary implications of this new national dataset on exploration for energy and mineral resources in Australia. This was mostly done by overlaying the NGSA data on coverages of known deposits and occurrences for selected commodities: uranium (U), thorium (Th), gold (Au), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and Rare Earth Elements (REEs). For U, an attempt was made to distinguish between calcrete-related and intrusion-related deposit types, and a local case study in the Pine Creek area is also presented. For Zn, preliminary results from an investigation into discrete field modelling using concentration-area (CA) fractal plots are also presented. Coincidence of known mineral deposits and occurrences with elevated geochemical element concentrations in the same catchment are highlighted. Several catchments have elevated geochemical element concentrations in catchments with no known mineral deposits or occurrences, which provide potential targets for exploration. This technique constitutes a useful and rapid tool for area selection where further, more detailed exploration effort could be expended to test these geochemical anomalies.

  • Annual report on the operations of the Optical, Geospatial, Radar, and Elevation Supplies and Services Panel (OGRE) for the 2010-11 financial year.

  • Geoscience Australia is the national mapping agency, providing fundamental geoscientific data in support of mineral and petroleum exploration.

  • This is a promotional flyer for the Austrlian Mines Atlas that is handed out at conferences and other events. The flyer explains what is available through the Australian Mines Atlas website.

  • Extended abstracts from various authors compiled as the Proceedings volume of the 2011 Australian Geothermal Energy Conference, 16-18 November, Sebel Albert Park, Melbourne.

  • Paleogeographic reconstructions of the conjugate Australian and Antarctic rifted continental margins based on geological versus plate tectonic considerations are rarely, if ever, fully compatible. Possible exceptions include a recently published plate tectonic reconstruction combining ocean floor fabrics and magnetic anomalies with revised rotational poles for successive extensional events in the region that coincidently brings about a match between the Kalinjala Mylonite Zone in South Australia and Mertz Shear Zone in Antarctica (Whittaker et al., 2007). A match between these two crustal-scale shear zones has been previously proposed on isotopic and geological grounds (Di Vincenzo et al., 2007; Goodge and Fanning, 2010). However, whereas the Mertz Shear Zone marks the western limits of ca. 500 Ma magmatic activity in Antarctica (Delamerian-Ross Orogen), the Kalinjala Mylonite Zone lies well to the west of this magmatic front and is bounded either side by rocks of the Mesoarchean-Mesoproterozoic Gawler craton. An alternative geological match for the Mertz Shear Zone in Australia is the hitherto unrecognised Coorong Shear Zone in South Australia (Fig. 1), tracts of which have been intruded by gabbro and granite of Delamerian-Ross age and west of which such rocks are either completely absent or greatly reduced in volume. The north-south-trending Coorong Shear Zone lies directly along strike from the (Spencer-) George V Fracture Zone and is clearly visible in aeromagnetic images and offshore deep seismic reflection data as a steep to subvertical crustal-penetrating basement structure across which there is an abrupt change in the orientation of magnetic fabrics and sedimentary basin fault geometries. An equally conspicuous change of direction is evident in ocean floor fabrics immediately offshore, inviting speculation that the along-strike George V Fracture Zone originated through reactivation of the older Coorong Shear Zone and shares the same orientation as the original basement structure. Correlation of this basement structure with the Mertz Shear Zone leads to a reconstruction of the Australian and Antarctic continental margins in which Antarctica and the entrained Mertz Shear Zone are located farther east than some recent restorations allow (Fig. 1). These restorations commonly fail to take into account an episode of NE-SW to NNE-SSW-directed extension preserved in the sedimentary and seismic record of the neighbouring Otway Basin and which is intermediate in age between initial NW-SE directed rifting in the Bight Basin and later N-S rifting that affected all of the continental margin and produced most of the ocean floor fabrics, including all of the major oceanic fracture zones. The Coorong basement structure was briefly reactivated as a sinistral strike-slip fault during this phase of NE-SW extension, but failed to evolve into a continental transform fault as was the case farther east off the southwest coast of Tasmania. There, an analogous pre-existing north-south-trending basement structure identified as the Avoca-Sorell Shear Zone was optimally oriented for reactivation as a strike-slip faulting during north-south rifting (Gibson et al., 2011). This reactivated structure is continuous along strike with the Tasman Fracture Zone and shares many similarities with the Coorong Shear Zone, separating not only basement domains with opposing magnetic fabrics but sedimentary rift basins with differently oriented sets of normal faults. Together, these two basement structures constitute an important first order constraint on palaeogeographic reconstructions of the Australian and Antarctic margins, and serve as a critical test of future palaeogeographic reconstructions based on ocean floor fabrics and plate tectonic considerations.

  • Provinces are defined in terms of overlapping packages of rocks related by depositional or emplacement process, time and space (for example a sedimentary basin), and overprints resulting from various metamorphic or deformation events. These provinces and the events which formed them are recorded in Geoscience Australia corporate Oracle databases and linked with spatial data at a nominal 1:1 millon scale in a GIS delivered via the WWW.

  • These datasets cover approximately 54 sq km over the Lockhart River Community and are part of the 2006 North Queensland Communities LiDAR capture project. This project, undertaken by Fugro Spatial Solutions Pty Ltd on behalf of the Queensland Government captured highly accurate elevation data using LiDAR technology. Available dataset formats (in 1 kilometre tiles) are: - Classified las (LiDAR Data Exchange Format where strikes are classified as ground or non-ground) - Ground-classified LiDAR returns in XYZ format - non-ground classified LiDAR returns in XYZ format - 1 metre Digital Elevation Model (DEM) mosaic in tif format

  • These datasets cover approximately 400 sq km in the central, northern and eastern sectors of the Townsville City Council and are part of the 2009 Tropical Coast LiDAR capture project. This project, undertaken by Fugro Spatial Solutions Pty Ltd on behalf of the Queensland Government captured highly accurate elevation data using LiDAR technology. Available dataset formats (in 2 kilometre tiles) are: - Classified las (LiDAR Data Exchange Format where strikes are classified as ground, non-ground or building) - 1 metre Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in ASCII xyz - 1 metre Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in ESRI ASCII grid - 0.25 metre contours in ESRI Shape