From 1 - 10 / 699
  • Geochemical surveys deliver fundamental data, information and knowledge about the concentration and spatial distribution of chemical elements, isotopes and compounds in the natural environment. Typically near-surface sampling media, such as soil, sediment, outcropping rocks and stream or groundwater, are used. The application of such datasets to fields such as mineral exploration, environmental management, and geomedicine has been widely documented. In this presentation I reflect on a sabbatical experience with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in 2017-2018 that allowed me to extend the interpretation of geochemical survey data beyond these established applications. In particular, with my collaborators we explore ways in which geochemical survey data and maps can be used to indicate the provenance of an evidentiary sample collected at a crime scene or obtained for instance from items belonging to a suspect intercepted at border entry. Because soils are extremely diverse mineralogically, geochemically and biologically, it should theoretically be possible to exclude very large swathes of territory (>90%) from further provenancing investigation using soil data. In a collaboration between Geoscience Australia (GA), the AFP and the University of Canberra (UC), a recent geochemical survey of the urban/suburban Canberra region in southeastern Australia is being used as a testbed for developing different approaches to forensic applications of geochemical surveys. A predictive soil provenancing method at the national scale was also developed and tested for application where no actual detailed, fit-for-purpose geochemical survey data exist. Over the next few years, GA, AFP and UC are collaborating with Flinders University to add biome data from soil and soil-derived dust to further improve the provenancing technique. This Abstract was presented at the 2021 Goldschmidt Conference (https://conf.goldschmidt.info/goldschmidt/2021/meetingapp.cgi)

  • We collected 38 groundwater and two surface water samples in the semi-arid Lake Woods region of the Northern Territory to better understand the hydrogeochemistry of this system, which straddles the Wiso, Tennant Creek and Georgina geological regions. Lake Woods is presently a losing waterbody feeding the underlying groundwater system. The main aquifers comprise mainly carbonate (limestone and dolostone), siliciclastic (sandstone and siltstone) and evaporitic units. The water composition was determined in terms of bulk properties (pH, electrical conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, redox potential), 40 major, minor and trace elements as well as six isotopes (δ18Owater, δ2Hwater, δ13CDIC, δ34SSO4=, δ18OSO4=, 87Sr/86Sr). The groundwater is recharged through infiltration in the catchment from monsoonal rainfall (annual average rainfall ~600 mm) and runoff. It evolves geochemically mainly through evapotranspiration and water–mineral interaction (dissolution of carbonates, silicates, and to a lesser extent sulfates). The two surface waters (one from the main creek feeding the lake, the other from the lake itself) are extraordinarily enriched in 18O and 2H isotopes (δ18O of +10.9 and +16.4 ‰ VSMOW, and δ2H of +41 and +93 ‰ VSMOW, respectively), which is interpreted to reflect evaporation during the dry season (annual average evaporation ~3000 mm) under low humidity conditions (annual average relative humidity ~40 %). This interpretation is supported by modelling results. The potassium (K) relative enrichment (K/Cl mass ratio over 50 times that of sea water) is similar to that observed in salt-lake systems worldwide that are prospective for potash resources. Potassium enrichment is believed to derive partly from dust during atmospheric transport/deposition, but mostly from weathering of K-silicates in the aquifer materials (and possibly underlying formations). Further studies of Australian salt-lake systems are required to reach evidence-based conclusions on their mineral potential for potash, lithium, boron and other low-temperature mineral system commodities such as uranium. <b>Citation:</b> P. de Caritat, E. N. Bastrakov, S. Jaireth, P. M. English, J. D. A. Clarke, T. P. Mernagh, A. S. Wygralak, H. E. Dulfer & J. Trafford (2019) Groundwater geochemistry, hydrogeology and potash mineral potential of the Lake Woods region, Northern Territory, Australia, <i>Australian Journal of Earth Sciences</i>, 66:3, 411-430, DOI: 10.1080/08120099.2018.1543208

  • <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 Historical Bushfire Boundaries service represents the aggregation of jurisdictional supplied burnt areas polygons stemming from the early 1900's through to 2022 (excluding the Northern Territory). The burnt area data represents curated jurisdictional owned polygons of both bushfires and prescribed (planned) burns. To ensure the dataset adhered to the nationally approved and agreed data dictionary for fire history Geoscience Australia had to modify some of the attributes presented. The information provided within this service is reflective only of data supplied by participating authoritative agencies and may or may not represent all fire history within a state.

  • <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 recently drilled deep stratigraphic drill hole NDI Carrara 1 penetrates the carbonate formations of the Cambrian Georgina Basin as well as the underlying Proterozoic successions of the Carrara Sub-basin. The Proterozoic section consists predominantly of tight shales, siltstones, and calcareous clastic rocks. This study aims to assess the petrophysical properties of the Proterozoic shales using conventional wireline logs. Gamma ray and neutron-density crossplots were used to calculate shale volume fraction, and neutron-density crossplots were applied to compute the total and effective porosity of non-shale rocks. Total organic carbon (TOC) content was interpreted using artificial neural networks, and was used to derive the volume of organic matter was converted from TOC content. Bulk density logs were corrected by removing the kerogen effect in the organic-rich shales. Matrix and kerogen densities were obtained by correlating the reciprocal of grain density with TOC content. Total shale porosity was calculated from kerogen-corrected density porosity and organic porosity. Effective porosity was estimated by removing the shaliness effect. Water saturation was derived using the Simandoux equation. The Proterozoic Lawn Hill Formation in NDI Carrara 1 exhibits petrophysical properties that indicate a favourable potential for shale gas resources. Herein, we define three informal intervals within the intersected Lawn Hill Formation; the upper Lawn Hill, the Lawn Hill shale, and the lower Lawn Hill. The net shale thickness of the upper Lawn Hill and Lawn Hill shale intervals are 165 m and 149 m, respectively. The increased TOC content and organic porosity of the upper Lawn Hill and Lawn Hill shale implies higher adsorbed gas content potential. The Lawn Hill shale has the highest gas saturation (average of 31.1%) and the highest potential for free gas content, corresponding to the highest methane responses in logged mud gas profiles. This extended Abstract was submitted to/presented at the Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC) 2023, Brisbane (https://2023.aegc.com.au/)

  • The Neoproterozoic–Paleozoic Officer Basin, located in South Australia and Western Australia, remains a frontier basin for energy exploration with significant uncertainty due to a paucity of data. As part of Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program, the objective of this study is to derive the petrophysical properties and characterise potential reservoirs in the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian sedimentary succession in the Officer Basin through laboratory testing, and well log interpretation using both conventional and neural network methods. Laboratory measurements of forty-one legacy core samples provide the relationships between gas permeability, Klinkenberg corrected permeability, and nano-scale permeability, as well as grain density, effective and total porosity for various rock types. Conventional log interpretation generates the volume fraction of shale, effective and total porosity from gamma ray and lithology logs. Self-organising map (SOM) was used to cluster the well log data to generate petrophysical group/class index and probability profiles for different classes. Neural network technology was employed to approximate porosity and permeability from logs, conventional interpretation results and class index from SOM modelling. The Neoproterozoic-Cambrian successions have the potential to host both conventional and tight hydrocarbon reservoirs. Neoproterozoic successions are demonstrated to host mainly tight reservoirs with the range in average porosity and geometric mean permeability of 4.77%-6.39% and 0.00087-0.01307 mD, respectively, in the different sequences. The range in average porosity and geometric mean permeability of the potential Cambrian conventional reservoirs is 14.54%-26.38% and 0.341-103.68 mD, respectively. The Neoproterozoic shales have favourable sealing capacities. This work updates the knowledge of rock properties to further the evaluation of the resource potential of the Officer Basin. Published in The APPEA Journal 2022 <b>Citation:</b> Wang Liuqi, Bailey Adam H. E., Carr Lidena K., Edwards Dianne S., Khider Kamal, Anderson Jade, Boreham Christopher J., Southby Chris, Dewhurst David N., Esteban Lionel, Munday Stuart, Henson Paul A. (2022) Petrophysical characterisation of the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian successions in the Officer Basin. <i>The APPEA Journal</i><b> 62</b>, 381-399. https://doi.org/10.1071/AJ21076

  • This brochure gives an overview of Geoscience Australia's priority programs: Exploring for the Future, Digital Earth Australia and Positioning Australia;

  • Exploring for the Future (EFTF) is an ongoing multiyear (2016–2024) initiative of the Australian Government, conducted by Geoscience Australia. This program aims to improve Australia’s desirability for industry investment in resource exploration of frontier regions across Australia. This paper will focus on the science impacts delivered in central northern Australia, by the acquisition and interpretation of seismic surveys, petroleum geochemistry and the drilling of the NDI Carrara 1. This work has been undertaken in collaboration with the Northern Territory Geological Survey, the Queensland Geological Survey, AuScope and the MinEx CRC. The new data acquired across central northern Australia as part of the Exploring for the Future program are foundational datasets and includes seismic surveys, geochronology and geochemistry. These data link the highly prospective resource rich areas of the McArthur Basin and Mt Isa Province via a continuous seismic traverse across central northern Australia. The Exploring for the Future program aims to further de-risk exploration within greenfield regions and position northern Australia for future exploration investment. This presentation was given at the 2023 Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC) 13-18 March, Brisbane (https://2023.aegc.com.au/)

  • This Record presents data collected in July–August 2020 as part of the ongoing Northern Territory Geological Survey–Geoscience Australia SHRIMP geochronology project under the National Collaboration Framework agreement and Geoscience Australia's Exploring for the Future Program. New U–Pb SHRIMP zircon geochronological results derived from eight sedimentary samples from the western Amadeus Basin in the Northern Territory are presented herein. Detrital zircon U–Pb ages were determined from four samples of the Winnall Group: three samples of the Liddle Formation and one of the Puna Kura Kura Formation. Zircon U–Pb ages were also determined from two samples of the Pertaoorrta Group (Cleland Sandstone and Tempe Formation), one sample of the Larapinta Group (Stairway Sandstone) and one sample of the Mereenie Sandstone. <b>Bibliographic Reference:</b> Kositcin N, Verdel C, Normington VJ and Simmons JM, 2021. Summary of results. Joint NTGS–GA geochronology project: western Amadeus Basin, July–August 2020. <i>Northern Territory Geological Survey, Record</i> <b>2021-002</b>.