From 1 - 10 / 81
  • 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. The physical properties of organic matter in sedimentary rocks changes composition in an irreversible and often sequential manner after burial, diagenesis, catagenesis and metagenesis with increasing thermal maturity. Characterising these changes and identifying the thermal maturity of sedimentary rocks is essential for calculating thermal models needed in a petroleum systems analysis. This study presents organic petrology on 15 Proterozoic aged shales 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 the thermal maturity and hydrocarbon prospectivity of Proterozoic aged sedimentary basins in northern Australia.

  • 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.

  • In June 2017, AAM completed field and aerial surveys over ~8,000 sqkm to generate orthoimagery and high definition level 1 classified LiDAR data to GA’s specifications. Under GA Deed CMC G3298A Contract D2017-43573 - Kimberley East. LiDAR and Imagery was captured over the site in separate flights between the 9th and 17th June 2017, a small gap was captured 9th July, the LiDAR and imagery have been controlled by 30 new control points This data supplied in this delivery is the Level 1 Classified las v1.4 dataset in 2km tiles. The height datum is Ellipsoidal.

  • 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.

  • With the increasing need to extend mineral exploration undercover, new approaches are required to better constrain concealed geology, thereby reducing exploration risk and search space. Hydrogeochemistry is an under-utilised tool that can identify subsurface geology and buried mineral system components, while also providing valuable insights into environmental baselines, energy systems and groundwater resources. With this aim, 238 water bores spanning seven geological provinces in the Northern Territory and Queensland were sampled and analysed for major cations and anions, trace elements, stable and radiogenic isotopes, organic species, and dissolved gases. Here, we demonstrate the utility of this dataset for identifying carbonate-rich aquifers and mineral system components therein. First, we use trends in major element ratios (Ca+Mg)/Cl– and SiO2/HCO–3, then strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr), to define subpopulations that reflect both spatial and compositional differences. We then apply mafic-to-felsic trace element ratios (V/Cs and Cu/Rb) to reveal elevated base metal concentrations near Lake Woods caused by water–rock interaction with dolerite intrusions. Correlated Sr concentrations between groundwater and surface sediments suggest that the geochemical evolution of these mediums in carbonate-dominated terrains is coupled. Our work develops an approach to guide mineral exploration undercover via the characterisation and differentiation of groundwaters from different aquifers, resulting in improved identification of geochemical anomalies. <b>Citation:</b> Schroder, I., de Caritat, P. and Wallace, L., 2020. The Northern Australia Hydrogeochemical Survey: aquifer lithologies, local backgrounds and undercover processes. 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.

  • <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 Basin Inventory is a summary of data and geological knowledge of hydrocarbon-prone onshore basins of Australia. Volume 1 of the inventory covers the McArthur, South Nicholson, Georgina, Wiso, Amadeus, Warburton, Cooper and Galilee basins. Under the Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program, Geoscience Australia expanded this work to compile the Onshore Basin Inventory volume 2, which covers the Officer, onshore Canning and Perth basins. These reports provide a whole-of-basin inventory of geology, petroleum systems, exploration status and data coverage. Each report also summarises aspects that require further work. The Onshore Basin Inventory has provided scientific and strategic direction for pre-competitive data acquisition under the EFTF energy work program. Here we provide an overview of the Onshore Basin Inventory, with emphasis on its utility in shaping the EFTF energy systems data acquisition and analysis program. <b>Citation:</b> Carr, L.K., Bailey, A.H.E., Palu, T.J. and Henson, P., 2020. Onshore Basin Inventory: building on Geoscience Australia’s pre-competitive work program with Exploring for the Future 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.

  • <p>The Isa Superbasin is a Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic succession (approximately 1670-1575 Ma), primarily described in north-west Queensland. Despite the basin’s frontier status, recent exploration in the northern Lawn Hill Platform has demonstrated shale gas potential in the Lawn and River supersequences. Here, we characterise the unconventional reservoir properties of these supersequences, providing new insights into regional shale gas prospectivity. <p>The depths, thicknesses and mappable extents of the Lawn and River supersequences are based on the 3D geological model of Bradshaw et al. (2018). Source rock net thickness, total organic carbon (TOC), kerogen type and maturity are characterised based on new and existing Rock-Eval and organic petrology data, integrated with petroleum systems modelling. Petrophysical properties, including porosity, permeability and gas saturation, are evaluated based on well logs. Mineralogy is used to calculate brittleness (see also Jarrett et al., 2019, this volume). Regional stress and pressure regimes are also reviewed. <p>Abundant source rocks are present in the Isa Superbasin succession. Overall, shale rock characteristics were found to be favourable for both sequences assessed; both the Lawn and River supersequences host thick, extensive, and organically rich source rocks with up to 7.1 wt% total organic carbon (TOC) in the Lawn Supersequence and up to 11.3 wt% TOC in the River Supersequence. Net shale thicknesses demonstrate an abundance of potential shale gas reservoir units across the Lawn Hill Platform. <p>With average brittleness indices of greater than 0.5, both the Lawn and River supersequences are interpreted as likely to be favourable for fracture stimulation. As-received total gas content from air-dried samples is favourable, with average values of 0.909 scc/g for the Lawn Supersequence and 1.143 scc/g for the River Supersequence <p>The stress regime in the Isa Superbasin and the surrounding region is poorly defined; however, it is likely dominated by strike-slip faulting. Modelling demonstrates limited stress variations based on both lithology and the thickness of the overlying Phanerozoic basins, resulting in likely inter- and intra-formational controls over fracture propagation. No evidence of overpressure has been observed to date, however, it is possible that overpressures may exist deeper in the basin where less permeable sediments exist. <p>This review of the shale reservoir properties of the Lawn and River supersequences of the Isa Superbasin significantly improves our understanding of the distribution of potentially prospective shale gas plays across the Lawn Hill Platform and more broadly across this region of northern Australia.

  • 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.