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  • <div>Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program provides precompetitive information to inform decision-making by government, community and industry on the sustainable development of Australia's mineral, energy and groundwater resources. By gathering, analysing and interpreting new and existing precompetitive geoscience data and knowledge, we are building a national picture of Australia’s geology and resource potential. This leads to a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of all Australians. This includes supporting Australia’s transition to net zero emissions, strong, sustainable resources and agriculture sectors, and economic opportunities and social benefits for Australia’s regional and remote communities. The EFTF program, which commenced in 2016, is an eight year, $225m investment by the Australian Government.</div><div>The onshore Canning Basin in Western Australia was the focus of a regional hydrocarbon prospectivity assessment undertaken by the EFTF program dedicated to increasing investment in resource exploration in northern Australia, with the objective being to acquire new data and information about the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources concealed beneath the surface. As part of this program, significant work has been carried out to deliver pre-competitive data in the region including new seismic acquisition, drilling of a stratigraphic well, and geochemical analysis from historic exploration wells.</div><div>As part of this program, a compilation of the compound-specific isotopic compositions of crude oils from 30 petroleum wells in the Canning Basin have been completed. The samples were analysed in Geoscience Australia’s Isotope and Organic Geochemistry Laboratory and the collated results are released in this report. This report provides additional stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic data to build on the oil-oil correlations previously established by Edwards and Zumberge (2005) and Edwards et al. (2013). This information can be used in future geological programs to determine the origin of the crude oils, and hence increase our understanding of the Larapintine Petroleum Supersystem, as established by Bradshaw (1993) and Bradshaw et al. (1994).</div><div><br></div>

  • The Exploring for the Future program is an initiative by the Australian Government dedicated to boosting investment in resource exploration in Australia. As part of the Exploring for the Future program, this study aims to improve our understanding of the petroleum resource potential of northern Australia. This data release presents new field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) of broad ion beam- polished samples (BIB-SEM) to visualise mineral and organic matter (OM) porosity on 15 Proterozoic aged shales. Samples were selected from the Velkerri and Barney Creek formations in the McArthur Basin and the Mullera Formation, Riversleigh Siltstone, Lawn Hill and Termite Range formations in the South Nicholson region. Qualitative maceral analysis of the 15 samples are described in addition to bitumen reflectance measurements. These samples were analysed at the Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria in June 2020. The results of this study can be used to improve our understanding of porosity, microstructures, seal capacity and hydrocarbon prospectivity of Proterozoic aged sedimentary basins in northern Australia.

  • The Ordovician to Cretaceous Canning Basin of Western Australia is an underexplored prospective onshore petroleum basin with proven petroleum systems currently producing on a small-scale. The Canning Basin has recently become a site of interest for unconventional hydrocarbon exploration, with several formations within deeper basin depocentres being investigated for resources and estimates that suggest it may have the largest shale gas potential in Australia. Modern petroleum resource evaluation generally depends on an understanding of both local and regional stresses, which are a primary control over the formation and propagation of induced fractures. Presently, there are significant gaps in our understanding of these factors within the Canning Basin. This study characterises the regional stress regime of the onshore Canning Basin and presents detailed models of present-day stress within the subsurface. These allow for the identification of significant stress heterogeneities and natural barriers to fracture propagation. Wireline data interpretation reveals a variable present-day state of stress in the Canning Basin. An approximately NE-SW regional present-day maximum horizontal stress orientation is interpreted from observed wellbore failure in image logs, in broad agreement with both the Australian Stress Map and previously published earthquake focal mechanism data. One-dimensional mechanical earth models constructed for intervals from 15 Canning Basin petroleum wells highlight the relationship between lithology and stress. This study describes significant changes in stress within and between lithological units due to the existence of discrete mechanical units, forming numerous inter- and intra- formational stress boundaries likely to act as natural barriers to fracture propagation, particularly within units currently targeted for their unconventional resource potential. Broadly, a strike-slip faulting stress regime is interpreted through the basin, however, when analysed in detail there are three distinct stress zones identified.: 1) a transitional reverse- to strike-slip faulting stress regime in the top ~1 km of the basin, 2) a strike-slip faulting stress regime from ~1 km to ~3.0 km depth, and 3) a transitional strike-slip to normal faulting regime at depths greater than ~3.0 km. This study is a component of the Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) initiative, which is focused on gathering new data and information about the resource potential concealed beneath the surface across northern Australia. Appeared online in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 17 Feb 2021

  • The Source Rock and Fluids Atlas delivery and publication services provide up-to-date information on petroleum (organic) geochemical and geological data from Geoscience Australia's Organic Geochemistry Database (ORGCHEM). The sample data provides the spatial distribution of petroleum source rocks and their derived fluids (natural gas and crude oil) from boreholes and field sites in onshore and offshore Australian basins. The services provide characterisation of source rocks through the visualisation of Pyrolysis, Organic Petrology (Maceral Groups, Maceral Reflectance) and Organoclast Maturity data. The services also provide molecular and isotopic characterisation of source rocks and petroleum through the visualisation of Bulk, Whole Oil GC, Gas, Compound-Specific Isotopic Analyses (CSIA) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) data tables. Interpretation of these data enables the characterisation of petroleum source rocks and identification of their derived petroleum fluids that comprise two key elements of petroleum systems analysis. The composition of petroleum determines whether or not it can be an economic commodity and if other processes (e.g. CO2 removal and sequestration; cryogenic liquefaction of LNG) are required for development.

  • This web service depicts the locations of onshore depleted gas fields, underground gas storage facilities and known, thick underground halite deposits, all with the potential for large scale hydrogen storage.

  • <div>Reliable water availability is critical to supporting communities and industries such as mining, agriculture and tourism. In remote and arid areas such as in the Officer – Musgrave region of central Australia, groundwater is the only viable source of water for human and environmental use. Groundwater systems in remote regions such as the Musgrave Province are poorly understood due to sparse geoscientific data and few detailed scientific investigations. The Musgrave palaeovalley module will improve palaeovalley groundwater system understanding in the Musgrave Province and adjacent basins to identify potential water sources for communities in the region. This report summarises the state of knowledge for the region on the landscape, population, water use, geology and groundwater systems. An analysis of the current and potential future water needs under different development scenarios captures information on how water is used in an area covering three jurisdictions and several potentially competing land uses.</div><div>The Musgrave Palaeovalley study area is generally flat, low-lying desert country. The Musgrave, Petermann, Mann and Warburton ranges in the centre of the area are a significant change in elevation and surface materials, comprising rocky hills, slopes and mountains with up to 800&nbsp;m of relief above the sand plains. Vegetation is generally bare or sparse, with isolated pockets of grassy or woody shrub lands. Soils are typically Tenosols, Rudosols and Kandosols.</div><div><br></div><div>There are four main hydrogeological systems in the study area. These are the fractured and basement rocks, local Quaternary sediments regional sedimentary basins and palaeovalley aquifers. These systems are likely to be hydraulically connected. Within palaeovalleys, three main hydrostratigraphic units occur. The upper Garford Formation is a sandy unconfined aquifer with a clay rich base (lower Garford Formation) which acts as a partial aquitard where present. The Pidinga Formation represents a coarser sandy or gravelly channel base, which is partly confined by the lower Garford Formation aquitard. The aquifers are likely to be hydraulically connected on a regional scale. Further to the west, equivalent units are identified and named in palaeovalley systems on the Yilgarn Craton. </div><div><br></div><div>Groundwater is recharged by episodic, high-intensity rainfall events and mostly discharges via evapotranspiration. Recharge is higher around the ranges, and lower over the flatter sand plains. Palaeovalley aquifers likely receive some groundwater inflow from underlying basin systems and fractured rock systems. Regional groundwater movement is topographically controlled, moving from the ranges towards surrounding areas of lower elevation. In some palaeovalleys groundwater discharges at playa lakes. Water table gradients are very low. More groundwater isotope and tracer data is required to understand potential connectivity between basin, fractured rock and palaeovalley systems.</div><div>Groundwater quality is brackish to saline, although pockets of fresher groundwater occur close to recharge areas and within the deeper and coarse-grained Garford Formation. Groundwater resources generally require treatment prior to use Most groundwater in the region is suitable for stock use. </div><div><br></div><div>Existing palaeovalley mapping is restricted to inferring extents based on landscape position and mapped surface materials. Utilising higher resolution digital elevation models and more recently acquired remotely sensed data will refine mapped palaeovalley extents. Improving the modelling of the distribution and depth of palaeovalleys in greater detail across the region is best aided through interpretation of airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data.</div><div>Based on the successes of integrating AEM with other geoscientific data in South Australia, we have acquired 25,109 line km of new AEM across the WA and NT parts of our study area. We will integrate this data with reprocessed and inverted publicly available AEM data, existing borehole information, existing and newly acquired hydrochemical data, and new surface magnetic resonance data to model the three dimensional distribution of palaeovalleys in the study area. We will use these models and data as the basis for conceptualising the hydrogeology of the palaeovalley systems, and provide information back to local communities and decision-makers to inform water management decisions. The data will also provide valuable precompetitive information for future economic development in the region.</div><div><br></div>

  • The Archean alkaline and related igneous rocks of Australia web map service depicts the spatial representation of the alkaline and related rocks of Archean age. All are from the Pilbara and Yilgarn Cratons of Western Australia.

  • The Archean alkaline and related igneous rocks of Australia web map service depicts the spatial representation of the alkaline and related rocks of Archean age. All are from the Pilbara and Yilgarn Cratons of Western Australia.

  • NDI Carrara 1 is a deep stratigraphic drill hole (~1751m) completed in 2020 as part of the MinEx CRC National Drilling Initiative (NDI) in collaboration with Geoscience Australia and the Northern Territory Geological Survey. It is the first test of the Carrara Sub-basin, a depocentre newly discovered in the South Nicholson region based on interpretation from seismic surveys (L210 in 2017 and L212 in 2019) recently acquired as part of the Exploring for the Future program. The drill hole intersected approximately 1100 m of Proterozoic sedimentary rocks uncomformably overlain by 630 m of Cambrian Georgina Basin carbonates. This report presents petrology and clay speciation XRD conducted on of 6 selected volcaniclastic rocks taken from NDI Carrara 1 between ca. 1579 m and ca. 1653 m depth. Petrology and XRD was undertaken by Microanalysis Australia (under contract to Geoscience Australia as part of the Exploring for the Future program). Borehole completion report can be found at https://portal.ga.gov.au/bhcr/minerals/648482

  • This report presents a summary of the groundwater hydrochemistry data release from the Ti Tree project 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. This data release records the groundwater sample collection methods and hydrochemistry and isotope data from monitoring bores in the Alice Springs project area, Northern Territory (NT). The Ti Tree project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the NT Government. Hydrochemistry and isotope data were collected from existing and newly drilled bores in the Ti Tree area