SkyTEM helicopter Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Musgrave Region, South Australia 2016- Contractor supplied data and conductivity depth transforms.
Authors / CoAuthors
The product consists of 8,800 line kilometres of time‐domain airborne electromagnetic (AEM) geophysical data acquired over the far north part of South Australia known as the Musgrave Province. This product release includes:
a) the measured AEM point located data,
b) electrical conductivity depth images derived from the dataset, and
c) the acquisition and processing report.
The data were acquired using the airborne SkyTEM312 Dual Moment 275Hz/25Hz electromagnetic and magnetic system, which covered a survey area of ~14,000 km2, which includes the standard 1:250 000 map sheets of SG52-12 (Woodroffe), SG52-16 (Lindsay), SG53-09 (Alberga) and SG53-13 (Everard).
The survey lines where oriented N-S and flown at 2km, 500m and 250m line spacing. A locality diagram for the survey is shown in Figure 1.
This survey was funded by the Government of South Australia, as part of the Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) Copper Initiative, through the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, (DPC) and the Goyder Institute of Water Research. Geoscience Australia managed the survey as part of a National Collaborative Framework project agreement with SA. The principal objective of this project was to capture a baseline geoscientific dataset to provide further information on the geological context and setting of the area for mineral systems as well as potential for groundwater resources, of the central part of the South Australian Musgrave Province.
Geoscience Australia contracted SkyTEM (Australia) Pty. Ltd. to acquire SkyTEM312 electromagnetic data, between September and October 2016. The data were processed and inverted by SkyTEM using the AarhusInv inversion program (Auken et al., 2015) and the Aarhus Workbench Laterally Constrained Inversion (LCI) algorithm (Auken et al. 2005; Auken et al. 2002).
The LCI code was run in multi-layer, smooth-model mode. In this mode the layer thicknesses are kept fixed and the data are inverted only for the resistivity of each layer. For this survey a 30 layer model was used. The thickness of the topmost layer was set to 2 m and the depth to the top of the bottommost (half-space) layer was set to 600 m. The layer thicknesses increase logarithmically with depth. The thicknesses and depths to the top of each layer are given in Table 1.
The regional AEM survey data can be used to inform the distribution of cover sequences, and at a reconnaissance scale, trends in regolith thickness and variability, variations in bedrock conductivity, and conductivity values of key bedrock (lithology related) conductive units under cover. The data will also assist in assessing groundwater resource potential and the extent of palaeovalley systems known to exist in the Musgrave Province.
A considerable area of the survey data has a small amplitude response due to resistive ground. It very soon becomes evident that lack of signal translates to erratic non-monotonic decays, quite opposite to the smooth transitional exponential decays that occur in conductive ground. Some sections of the data have been flown over what appears to be chargeable ground, hence contain what potentially can be identified as an Induced Polarization effect (airborne IP—AIP). For decades these decay sign changes, which characterize AIP, have not been accounted for in conventional AEM data processing and modelling (Viezzoli et al., 2017). Instead they have mostly been regarded as noise, calibration or levelling issues and are dealt with by smoothing, culling or applying DC shifts to the data. Not accounting for these effects is notable on the contractor’s conductivity-depth sections, where data can’t be modelled to fit the data hence large areas of blank-space have been used to substitute the conductivity structure.
The selection of the survey area was undertaken through a consultative process involving the CSIRO, GOYDER Institute, Geological Survey of South Australia and the exploration companies currently active in the region (including industry survey partner PepinNini Minerals Ltd).
The data will be available from Geoscience Australia’s web site free of charge. It will also be available through the South Australian Government’s SARIG website at https://map.sarig.sa.gov.au.
The data will feed into the precompetitive exploration workflow developed and executed by the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) and inform a new suite of value-added products directed at the exploration community.
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification: Fields of Research
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Classification - unclassified
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence
Access - license
Use - license
The principal objective of this project was to capture a baseline geoscientific dataset to provide further information on the geological context and setting of the area for mineral systems as well as potential for groundwater resources, of the central part of the South Australian Musgrave Province.
A SkyTEM airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey was flown during the period of September to October 2016 over the “CSIRO Areas” within the Musgrave Province, in the far north of South Australia. The area, approximately 14,000 km2 in extent, is just to the south of the SA-NT state/territory border. The lines are located on the standard 1:250000 map sheets of SG52-12 (Woodroffe), SG52-16 (Lindsay), SG53-09 (Alberga) and SG53-13 (Everard). The survey lines where oriented N-S and flown at 2km, 500m and 250m line spacing.