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  • This report presents key results from the Ti Tree Basin project completed 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. The Ti Tree Basin is one of four Northern Territory water management areas in the Southern Stuart Corridor (SSC) area, part of Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future project. The Ti Tree Basin is approximately 150–200 kilometres north of Alice Springs. The intracratonic basin is infilled Cenozoic alluvial and lacustrine sediments. Since the 1960s the basin has been the focus of many government investigations and policies into its groundwater potential. Most have concentrated on the relatively shallow Cenozoic aquifers less than 100 metres below surface. Wischusen et al. (2012) identified the potential of the deeper aquifers (at depths of greater than 100 m) to expand the potential water resources of the Ti Tree Basin. This report uses three sets of AEM data, two acquired by Geoscience Australia and one from historic mineral exploration, to map the depth to basement in the Ti Tree Basin. We confirm the prediction of Wischusen et al. (2012) that there is significant potential for a much thicker Cenozoic succession in the Basin and show that up to 500 m of sediments are present in fault bounded structures. We demonstrate that these sediments occur in two successions, one of probably Eocene age within narrow, fault-bounded troughs and the other of probable Miocene to Pliocene age occurring across a wider area. The two successions are separated by a low angle unconformity. We interpret the lower succession as forming during strike-slip opening of the basin, and the upper succession as being deposited by passive basin infill. The faults forming the deep basin show are mostly congruent with basement structures previously interpreted from aeromagnetic data. Most of the lower succession has not been fully penetrated by earlier drilling. The interpreted AEM data shows that the deep Ti Tree Basin may contain extensive sandy aquifer units whose potential are completely unexplored. We recommend further investigations, including further stratigraphic drilling, mapping of the uniformity surface, and installation of monitoring bores, to more fully explore the potential of the deep Ti Tree Basin.

  • This report presents a summary of the groundwater and surface water hydrochemistry data release from the Howard East 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 and surface water sample collection methods and hydrochemistry and isotope data from monitoring bores in the Howard East project area, Northern Territory (NT). The Howard East project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the NT Government. Hydrochemistry and isotope data were collected from existing bores in the Howard East area. The sampling methods, quality assurance/quality control procedures, analytical methods and results are included in this report and all hydrochemistry data are available for download from the link at right.

  • This report presents groundwater levels results from the Howard East groundwater project in the Northern Territory (NT), 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. The Howard East groundwater project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and he Northern Territory Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). It focuses on groundwater resources in the Howard East area, NT. This report describes a data release of groundwater levels and salinity information based on measurements collected in monitoring bores during the EFTF project. The full report includes: • A full description of how water levels in metres relative to Australian Height Datum (m AHD; where zero m AHD is an approximation of mean sea level) were calculated from manual dips and electronic data loggers for this project. • A series of tables in Appendix A containing sufficient information for each bore and datalogger file to reproduce the water levels reported in Appendix B and Appendix C. • A series of hydrographs in Appendix B showing how water levels (in m AHD) interpreted from manual dips and datalogger files varied during the EFTF project. • A series of electronic files in Appendix C that include - Data files from dataloggers in CSV file format that can be used with the information contained in this data release to regenerate the water levels shown on hydrographs in Appendix A. - Data files in CSV file format reporting the final water levels used to generate the hydrographs in Appendix B.

  • This report presents key results from the Howard East project conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF), an Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program. The four-year (2016–20) program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources in northern Australia. Groundwater is an essential part of Darwin’s water supply and is sourced from the Koolpinyah Dolostone Aquifer (KDA) at the Howard East Borefield (HEB) and McMinns Borefield, which are ~25 km to 30 km southeast of Darwin. Previous work suggests that electrical conductivity anomalies observed in airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data within 5 km of HEB may be caused by saline groundwater within the KDA that is separated from HEB by dykes and other geological features that effectively compartmentalise the aquifer (Fell-Smith & Sumner, 2011; Tan et al., 2012). Nevertheless, concerns have grown that increased groundwater use may result in migration of saline groundwater toward HEB, which could compromise the groundwater resource. We collected groundwater chemistry including isotopes, time-series groundwater salinity, AEM, and induction and gamma data to better understand the complexities of the KDA. We show that groundwater in the KDA typically has a fresh Mg-Ca-HCO3 type composition, as is expected for a dolomitic aquifer. Highly saline Na-Cl type groundwater with a composition similar to seawater exists at some locations as well as groundwater with a mixed composition. These findings confirm previous interpretations for the area (e.g. Fell-Smith & Sumner, 2011). We sampled saline groundwater on the opposite side of two dolerite dykes to HEB to its northeast. Age dating results for this sample cannot be used to determine whether this saline groundwater represents relict seawater or whether groundwater at this site is in hydraulic connection with the modern ocean. Our groundwater chemistry results also show that saline intrusion is occurring northwest of HEB. AEM data were collected to better characterise geological and hydrogeological features in the area. Estimates of bulk conductivity of the subsurface were derived by inverting AEM data using both deterministic and stochastic methods. Using these AEM inversions and other hydrogeological information, we characterised high-conductivity anomalies within 5 km of HEB and the upper surface of unweathered dolerite in the two dykes northeast of HEB. We interpreted conductivity anomalies as pyritic shales, although drilling is required to investigate the salinity of groundwater in the KDA in this area. Where we were able to resolve the upper surface of unweathered material in the two dykes using the AEM, we found that it commonly occurs below sea level. Characterising the geometry of these dykes will aid in assessing their role in aquifer compartmentalisation. Our findings contribute to building a robust conceptual understanding of the KDA and will guide future investigations into the groundwater system. A number of other products exist for the EFTF Howard East project. The findings of this report are integrated with hydrodynamic analyses undertaken by Woltmann (in prep.) and reported in Haiblen et al. (2020). Hydrochemistry data presented here are contained in McGrath-Cohen et al. (2020), water level and salinity monitoring data can be found in Turner et al. (2020), AEM data are in Ray et al. (2020b), and induction and gamma data are in Tan et al. (2020).

  • Geoscience Australia commissioned reprocessing of selected legacy 2D seismic data in the East Kimberley, onshore Bonaparte Basin as part of the Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program. Reprocessing of these data occurred between September 2017 and May 2018. Exploring for the Future (<a href="https://www.ga.gov.au/eftf/">https://www.ga.gov.au/eftf</a>) was a $100.5 million four-year (2016-20), Australian Government-funded program to provide a holistic picture of the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources in northern Australia. The program has delivered new geoscience data, knowledge and decision support tools to support increased industry investment and sustainable economic development across the north. Groundwater is a critical resource that accounts for most water used across northern Australia. The groundwater component of the EFTF program focused on addressing groundwater resource knowledge gaps, to support future opportunities for economic development via irrigated agriculture, extractive industries and increased security of community water supplies. Through collaboration with State and Territory partners, the program undertook targeted regional investigations of groundwater systems and assessments of groundwater potential more broadly across the region. The program's activities, implemented by Geoscience Australia, involved application of innovative geoscience tools to collect, integrate and analyse a range of data. It includes geological and hydrogeological data, airborne and ground-based geophysical and hydrogeochemical surveys, remote sensing data as well as stratigraphic drilling. The new data and better understanding of groundwater systems also helps inform decision making about groundwater use to protect environmental and cultural assets. These outcomes strengthen investor confidence in resources and agricultural projects by de-risking groundwater in northern Australia. The package contains reprocessed data from ten surveys acquired between 1980 and 1997. In total 53 lines were reprocessed covering a fold area of approximately 618.9 line kilometres, with the objective to produce a modern industry standard 2D land seismic reflection dataset where possible from a selection of multiple legacy 2D data. The purpose of the reprocessing was twofold: 1) To image the near surface structural and stratigraphic configuration for linking to AEM data that is available in the Bonaparte Basin; and 2) To image the structure and stratigraphic architecture of the Paleozoic Bonaparte Basin. The dataset exhibits significant improvements in stack response in most of the reprocessed lines when final and legacy stacks were compared, especially in the shallow section. Optimum results were obtained from the noise attenuation workflows. A minimum processing flow was applied to BWA80, BWA81, and line BNT87-404 lines to avoid any signal leakage throughout the processing. Final data were delivered as minimum phase (care should be taken not to interpret zero crossings as geological boundaries), and final velocities produced a good match with the well checkshot velocities. The processing report from Down Under Geophysics is available for download with this release. Raw and processed data are available on request from <a href="mailto:clientservices@ga.gov.au&body=Ref: eCat 135578">clientservices@ga.gov.au</a> - Quote eCat# 135578. Processed stack SEG-Y files and ancillary data are available for download from this web page.

  • Groundwater is an essential part of Darwin’s water supply mix, and is sourced from Howard East Borefield (HEB) and McMinns Borefield in the Koolpinyah Dolostone Aquifer (KDA), east of Darwin. Previous work suggested that electrical conductivity anomalies observed in airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data within 8 km of HEB may be caused by saline groundwater within the KDA that is separated from HEB by geological features that effectively compartmentalise the aquifer. Nevertheless, concerns grew that increased groundwater use may result in migration of saline groundwater towards HEB, which could compromise the groundwater resource. We collected hydrochemistry, including isotopes, time-series groundwater salinity and AEM data to better understand the complexities of the KDA. These data are presented here, along with a hydrodynamic analysis undertaken by the Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which shows that drawdown is occurring more rapidly from the NE of HEB and that dykes ~8 km NE of HEB act as barriers to groundwater flow. We show that groundwater sampled on the NE side of these dykes has a seawater composition. We use new AEM data to map the elevation of the top of unweathered dyke material and to characterise AEM conductors proximal to HEB. Our mapping reveals that the top of the unweathered portion of these dykes is commonly below sea level. We also show that AEM conductors proximal to HEB are more likely mineralised clays than saline groundwater within the aquifer. Drilling is required to confirm these results. Our findings contribute to building a robust conceptual understanding of the KDA and will inform future modelling of the groundwater system. <b>Citation:</b> Haiblen, A.M., Symington, N.J., Woltmann, M.J., Ray, A., Gow, L.J., Leplastrier, A. and McGrath, E.S.B., 2020. A multifaceted approach to investigating hydrogeological complexities in the Koolpinyah Dolostone Aquifer, Howard East, Northern Territory. 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.

  • This technical report details the methods and results the drilling programs of the Upper Burdekin Groundwater 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 report was written by Queensland Government collaborators in the Department of Environment and Science, and is published here as supplied to Geoscience Australia at the conclusion of the project. The drilling program itself was conducted by the Department of Environment and Science as part of the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project. A total of 17 holes were drilled in 2017-18 at 13 sites with a total combined depth of 943.2 metres. These comprise selected locations across both the Nulla Basalt Province and McBride Basalt Province. A network of 15 monitoring bores were constructed with two test holes backfilled and decommissioned.

  • This report presents a summary of the groundwater and surface water hydrochemistry data release from the Daly River 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 Daly River project area, Northern Territory (NT). The Daly River project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the NT Government. Hydrochemistry and isotope data were collected from existing bores in the Daly River area. The sampling methods, quality assurance/quality control procedures, analytical methods and results are included in this report and all hydrochemistry data are available for download from the link at right.

  • Exploring for the Future was a $100.5 million initiative by the Australian Government dedicated to boosting investment in resource exploration in Australia. The four-year program (2016-2020) focused on northern Australia and parts of South Australia. The under-explored northern Australian region offers enormous potential for industry development and is advantageously located close to major global markets. Geoscience Australia's leading scientists used and developed new innovative techniques to gather new scientific data and information, on an unprecedented scale, about the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources concealed beneath the surface. This work was undertaken in greenfield areas, where the Exploring for the Future program had the greatest impact. This dataset depicts the geographical extents of the various projects undertaken as part of this program, with an indicative total spend for each

  • This web service provides access to groundwater raster products for the Upper Burdekin region, including: inferred relative groundwater recharge potential derived from weightings assigned to qualitative estimates of relative permeability based on mapped soil type and surface geology; Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) used to map vegetation with potential access to groundwater in the basalt provinces, and; base surfaces of basalt inferred from sparse available data.