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  • This animation shows how Airborne Electromagnetic Surveys Work, when conducted by a rotary wing (helicopter) aircraft. It is part of a series of Field Activity Technique Engagement Animations. The target audience are the communities that are impacted by our data acquisition activities. There is no sound or voice over. The 2D animation includes a simplified view of what AEM equipment looks like, what the equipment measures and how the survey works.

  • Internationally, the number of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects has been increasing with more than 61 new CCS facilities added to operations around the globe in 2022, including six projects in Australia (GCCSI, 2022). The extraction of reservoir fluid will be an essential component of the CCS workflow for some of projects in order to manage reservoir pressure variations and optimise the subsurface storage space. While we refer to reservoir fluid as brine throughout this paper for simplicity, reservoir fluids can range from brackish to more saline (briny) water. Brine management requires early planning, as it has implications for the project design and cost, and can even unlock new geological storage space in optimal locations. Beneficial use and disposal options for brine produced as a result of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage has been considered at a regional or national scale around the world, but not yet in Australia. For example, it may be possible to harvest energy, water, and mineral resources from extracted brine. Here, we consider how experiences in brine management across other Australian industries can be transferred to domestic CCS projects.

  • 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 a low emissions economy, strong resources and agriculture sectors, and economic opportunities and social benefits for Australia’s regional and remote communities. The Exploring for the Future program, which commenced in 2016, is an eight year, $225m investment by the Australian Government. The deep stratigraphic drill hole, NDI Carrara 1 (~1751 m), was completed in December 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 contractor report (FIT - Schlumberger) presents hydrocarbon and aqueous fluid inclusion petrology and data (micro-thermometry, salinities etc.) on four hydrocarbon-bearing calcite veins sampled from NDI Carrara 1 between 762.56-763.60 m depth, (under contract to, and fully funded by, Geoscience Australia as part of the Exploring for the Future program).

  • The preserved successions from the Mesoproterozoic Era (1600 to 1000 Ma) are a relatively understudied part of Australian geological evolution, especially considering that this era has a greater time span than the entire Phanerozoic. These rocks are mostly known in variably-preserved sedimentary basins overlying Paleoproterozoic or Archean cratons or at the margins of these cratons. Some metamorphosed equivalents occur within the orogens between or marginal to these cratons. Both energy and mineral resources are hosted in Australian Mesoproterozoic basins, including the highly-prospective organic rich shale units within the Beetaloo Sub-basin (Northern Territory), which form part of the Beetaloo Petroleum Supersystem. The primary aim for this record is to provide a consolidated state of knowledge of Australian basins or successions similar in age to that of the Mesoproterozoic Beetaloo Petroleum Supersystem. The findings of this report will assist prioritising future work, through improved geological understanding and resource prospectivity. This report presents an overview of 14 Mesoproterozoic-age sedimentary basins or successions and their current level of understanding, including location, basin architecture, stratigraphy and depositional environments, age constraints and mineral and energy resources. Basins or successions included in this record are unmetamorphosed or metamorphosed to very low-grade conditions. Recommendations are made for future work to address the main knowledge gaps identified from this review. While some of these basins have been the focus of recent intense study and data acquisition, the extent of knowledge varies broadly across basins. All basins reviewed in this record would benefit from further geochemical and geochronological analyses, and stratigraphic study to better understand the timing of depositional events and their correlation with nearby basins. Elucidation of the post-depositional history of alteration, migration of fluids and/or hydrocarbons would facilitate future exploration and resource evaluation.

  • The Exploring for the Future program Showcase 2023 was held on 15-17 August 2023. Day 2 - 16th August talks included: Highways to Discovery and Understanding Session AusAEM - Unraveling Australia's Landscape with Airborne Electromagnetics – Dr Yusen Ley Cooper Exploring for the Future Data Discovery Portal: A scenic tour – Simon van der Wielen Towards equitable access to regional geoscience information– Dr Kathryn Waltenberg Community engagement and geoscience knowledge sharing: towards inclusive national data and knowledge provision – Dr Meredith Orr Foundational Geoscience Session The power of national scale geological mapping – Dr Eloise Beyer New surface mineralogical and geochemical maps of Australia – Dr Patrice de Caritat Imaging Australia’s Lithospheric Architecture – Dr Babak Hejrani Metallogenic Potential of the Delamerian Margin– Dr Yanbo Cheng You can access the recording of the talks from YouTube here: <a href="https://youtu.be/ZPp2sv2nuXI">2023 Showcase Day 2 - Part 1</a> <a href="https://youtu.be/dvqP8Z5yVtY">2023 Showcase Day 2 - Part 2</a>

  • The Groundwater Dependent Waterbodies (GDW) dataset is a subset of the Digital Earth Australia (DEA) Waterbodies product that has been combined with the Bureau of Meteorology’s national Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem (GDE) Atlas to produce surface waterbodies that are known/high potential aquatic GDEs. These aquatic GDEs include springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Where known/high potential GDEs intersected a DEA waterbody, the entire DEA waterbody polygon was retained and assigned as a GDW. Additional attributes were added to the waterbody polygons to indicate amount of overlap the waterbody had with the GDE(s) as well as the minimum, mean, median and maximum percentage of time that water has been detected in each GDW relative to the total number of clear observations (1986 to present). This web service will display a variety of layers with spatial summary statistics of the GDW dataset. These provide a first-pass representation of known/high potential aquatic GDEs and their surface water persistence, derived consistently from Landsat satellite imagery across Australia.

  • Strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) are useful in the earth sciences (e.g., recognising geological provinces, studying geological processes) as well in archaeological (e.g., informing on past human migrations), palaeontological/ecological (e.g., investigating extinct and extant taxa’s dietary range and migrations) and forensic (e.g., validating the origin of drinks and foodstuffs) sciences. Recently, Geoscience Australia and the University of Wollongong have teamed up to determine 87Sr/86Sr ratios in fluvial sediments selected from the low-density National Geochemical Survey of Australia (www.ga.gov.au/ngsa). The initial study targeted the northern parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland in Australia. The samples were taken from a depth of ~60-80 cm depth in floodplain deposits at or near the outlet of large catchments (drainage basins). A coarse grain-size fraction (<2 mm) was air-dried, sieved, milled then digested (hydrofluoric acid + nitric acid followed by aqua regia) to release total strontium. Preliminary results demonstrate a wide range of strontium isotopic values (0.7048 < 87Sr/86Sr < 1.0330) over the survey area, reflecting a large diversity of source rock lithologies, geological processes and bedrock ages. Spatial distribution of 87Sr/86Sr shows coherent (multi-point anomalies and gradients), large-scale (>100 km) patterns that appears to be consistent, in many places, with surface geology, regolith/soil type and/or nearby outcropping bedrock. For instance, the extensive black clay soils of the Barkly Tableland define a >500 km-long northwest-southeast trending low anomaly (87Sr/86Sr < 0.7182). Where carbonate or mafic igneous rocks dominate, a low to moderate strontium isotope signature is observed. In proximity to the outcropping Proterozoic metamorphic provinces of the Tennant, McArthur, Murphy and Mount Isa geological regions, high 87Sr/86Sr values (> 0.7655) are observed. A potential link between mineralisation and elevated 87Sr/86Sr values in these regions needs to be investigated in greater detail. Our results to-date indicate that incorporating soil/regolith strontium isotopes in regional, exploratory geoscience investigations can help identify basement rock types under (shallow) cover, constrain surface processes (e.g., weathering, dispersion), and, potentially, recognise components of mineral systems. Furthermore, the resulting strontium isoscape can also be utilised in archaeological, paleontological and ecological studies that aim to investigate past and modern animal (including humans) dietary habits and migrations.

  • This is a collection of continuous seismic records gathered by temporal and semi-permanent seismic deployments where real-time data transmission was not available. Time spans vary from half an hour to more than a year depending on the purpose of the survey. Description of the employed instrumentation and array constellations can be found in the accompanied material. <b>Value: </b>Passive seismic data contains records of soil vibration due to the natural earth movements, ocean, weather, and anthropogenic activities. This data is used in ongoing research to infer national lithospheric structure from depth of a few meters to a hundred kilometres. Derived models are an important source of information for assessment of resource potential and natural hazard. <b>Scope: </b>Over time, surveys have been focused on areas of economic interest, current work of the Australian Passive Seismic Array Project (AusArray) is seeking to create a grid pattern, spaced ~55 km apart, and complemented by semi-permanent higher sensitivity broadband seismic stations. For more information about AusArray click on the following URL: <a href="https://www.ga.gov.au/eftf/minerals/nawa/ausarray">https://www.ga.gov.au/eftf/minerals/nawa/ausarray</a> <b>Data from phase 1 are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au - Quote eCat# 135284</b>

  • The document summarises new seismic interpretation metadata for two key horizons from Base Jurassic to mid-Cretaceous strata across the western and central Eromanga Basin, and the underlying Top pre-Permian unconformity. New seismic interpretations were completed during a collaborative study between the National Groundwater Systems (NGS) and Australian Future Energy Resources (AFER) projects. The NGS and AFER projects are part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF)—an eight year, $225 million Australian Government funded geoscience data and precompetitive information acquisition program 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 will help support a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of all Australians. The EFTF program is supporting Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy, industry and agriculture sectors, as well as economic opportunities and social benefits for Australia’s regional and remote communities. Further details are available at http://www.ga.gov.au/eftf. The seismic interpretations build on previous work undertaken as part of the ‘Assessing the Status of Groundwater in the Great Artesian Basin’ (GAB) Project, commissioned by the Australian Government through the National Water Infrastructure Fund – Expansion (Norton & Rollet, 2022; Vizy & Rollet, 2022; Rollet et al., 2022; Rollet et al., in press.), the NGS Project (Norton & Rollet, 2023; Rollet et al., 2023; Vizy & Rollet, 2023) and the AFER Project (Bradshaw et al., 2022 and in press, Bernecker et al., 2022, Iwanec et al., 2023; Iwanec et al., in press). The recent iteration of revisions to the GAB geological and hydrogeological surfaces (Vizy & Rollet, 2022) provides a framework to interpret various data sets consistently (e.g., boreholes, airborne electromagnetic, seismic data) and in a 3D domain, to improve our understanding of the aquifer geometry, and the lateral variation and connectivity in hydrostratigraphic units across the GAB (Rollet et al., 2022). Vizy and Rollet (2022) highlighted some areas with low confidence in the interpretation of the GAB where further data acquisition or interpretation may reduce uncertainty in the mapping. One of these areas was in the western and central Eromanga Basin. New seismic interpretations are being used in the western Eromanga, Pedirka and Simpson basins to produce time structure and isochore maps in support of play-based energy resource assessment under the AFER Project, as well as to update the geometry of key aquifers and aquitards and the GAB 3D model for future groundwater management under the NGS Project. These new seismic interpretations fill in some data and knowledge gaps necessary to update the geometry and depth of key geological and hydrogeological surfaces defined in a chronostratigraphic framework (Hannaford et al., 2022; Bradshaw et al., 2022 and in press; Hannaford & Rollet, 2023). The seismic interpretations are based on a compilation of newly reprocessed seismic data (Geoscience Australia, 2022), as part of the EFTF program, and legacy seismic surveys from various vintages brought together in a common project with matching parameters (tying, balancing, datum correcting, etc.). This dataset has contributed to a consolidated national data coverage to further delineate groundwater and energy systems, in common data standards and to be used further in integrated workflows of mineral, energy and groundwater assessment. The datasets associated with the product provides value added seismic interpretation in the form of seismic horizon point data for two horizons that will be used to improve correlation to existing studies in the region. The product also provides users with an efficient means to rapidly access a list of core data used from numerous sources in a consistent and cleaned format, all in a single package. The following datasets are provided with this product: 1) Seismic interpretation in a digital format (Appendix A), in two-way-time, on key horizons with publically accessible information, including seismic interpretation on newly reprocessed data: Top Cadna-owie; Base Jurassic; Top pre-Permian; 2) List of surveys compiled and standardised for a consistent interpretation across the study area (Appendix B). 3) Isochore points between Top Cadna-owie and Base Jurassic (CC10-LU00) surfaces (Appendix C). 4) Geographical layer for the seismic lines compiled across Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory (Appendix D). These new interpretations will be used to refine the GAB geological and hydrogeological surfaces in this region and to support play-based energy resource assessments in the western Eromanga, Pedirka and Simpson basins.

  • <div>These conductivity grids were generated by gridding the top 22 layers from the airborne electromagnetics (AEM) conductivity models from the Western Resource Corridor AusAEM survey (https://dx.doi.org/10.26186/147688), the Earaheedy and Desert Strip AusAEM survey (https://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/145265) and several industry surveys (https://dx.doi.org/10.26186/146278) from the West Musgraves. The grids resolve important subsurface features for assessing the groudnwater system including lithologial boundaires, palaeovalleys and hydrostatigraphy.</div>