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  • The Value of Earth Observations from Space to Australia report (2015, ACIL Allen Consulting) examines the use of Earth observations from space (EOS) in seven key application areas: weather forecasting; ocean observation; monitoring land use and landscape change; agriculture; water; natural hazards and insurance; and onshore mining. Through a series of detailed case studies, the report establishes the value of the contribution of EOS in each application area and to the Australian economy as a whole.

  • This animation shows how passive seismic surveys Work. 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 passive seismic equipment looks like, what the equipment measures and how the survey works.

  • This animation shows how Reflection Seismic Surveys Work. 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 reflection seismic survey equipment looks like, what the equipment measures and how the survey works.

  • The Mineral Potential Mapper (MPM) project represents a significant step forward in identifying new mineral provinces in Australia. The project demonstrated that the apparent under-representation of giant Ni Cu-PGE sulfide resources in Australia was a consequence of concealment of mineral deposits by sediments, basins and regolith (cover) which has hindered exploration success, rather than a lack of geological endowment. The project focused on the identification of prospective regions considered worthy of more detailed work (by exploration companies). The availability of new digital datasets at continental scale enabled the work which predicted a high potential for Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposits in a wide range of geological regions across Australia. The project delivered the following outputs: – a technical report providing the first continental-scale assessment of Ni-Cu-PGE mineral potential of Australia applying knowledge-driven geographic information system (GIS)-based prospectivity analysis methods – a series of Geodatabase digital maps (included in the report) – primary digital data and programming script used in the GIS analysis – a workshop delivered in Perth to industry on the 12 June 2016 – a world first National mineral potential map for Ni Cu-PGE sulfide deposits. The MPM materials have generated considerable industry interest. Chalice Mining Limited (Chalice) (formerly Chalice Gold Mines Limited) notes the MPM “… provided valuable input into Chalice’s regional targeting, particularly when applied to frontier areas” (and that) “… recent success at Julimar validates the work by Geoscience Australia (GA) and shows the impact that pre-competitive data can have when applied to greenfields exploration.” Chalice’s Julimar discovery is the world’s largest deposit of its type discovered in 20 years and one of four Tier one deposits discovered in the world in the last five years. It has spurred a significant uptake in tenements by explorers across a green field region and further significant finds are likely. The project has also generated considerable international government interest, sparking the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative. The United States of America and Canada are both applying similar innovative mineral systems-based assessment methodologies to undertake precompetitive prospectivity mapping at a national scale. Given the impact of the MPM project will only be fully appreciated with the realisation of new mines, ACIL Allen has considered two hypothetical mine development scenarios: development of the Gonneville deposit based on Chalice’s (Australian Securities Exchange) ASX report of 8 July 2022, and a second case with an expansion of the Gonneville deposit (to 500Mt), coupled with a more spectacular discovery (double the size of the Gonneville deposit). Both success case scenarios were modelled using a conservative set of assumptions drawn from Chalice’s ASX reporting, prevailing market figures and industry norms. Based on those assumptions, ACIL Allen estimates that the development scenarios could generate an overall benefit to the Australian economy of between $3.48 billion and $4.57 billion and between $1.21 billion and $1.56 billion in net benefits to the Commonwealth in terms of taxation. GA’s investment in the project ($3.0 million) enabled the creation of these benefits. Indeed, every dollar invested in this project by the Commonwealth through GA could generate between $1,176 and $1,546 in additional benefits to the economy. The estimated benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for the Commonwealth Government is between 409 and 526 for the ‘success cases’. This is a substantial step up from the initial assessment conduct 12 months ago prior to the availability of resource figures for the Gonneville deposit (with a small and a large mine delivering an overall benefit of between $441 million and $869 million, with a BCR between 65 and 127).

  • Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, and the Australian Space Agency collaboratively developed a 2-page A4 flyer to promote education and careers in space to students and teachers. The flyer showcases Australia's unique capability in the space sector, far beyond astronomers and astronauts. It also lists QR codes of several Australian educational resources on a diversity of space topics for preschoolers through to university students. It is designed to be shared virtually or in person with stakeholders interested in promoting space science literacy and careers.

  • The Exploring for the Future Program facilitated the acquisition of major geoscience datasets in northern Australia, where rocks are mostly under cover and the basin evolution, mineral, energy and groundwater resource potential are, in places, poorly constrained. In an effort to support sustainable, regional economic development and build stronger communities in these frontier areas, integration of new and legacy data within a consistent platform could enhance the recognition of cross-disciplinary synergies in sub-surface resource investigations. Here we present a case study in the South-Nicholson Basin, located in a poorly exposed area between the prospective Mt Isa Province and the McArthur Basin. Both regions host major base metal deposits, contain units prospective for energy resources, and hold significant groundwater resources in the overlying Georgina Basin. In this study, we interpret a subset of new regional-scale data, which include ~1 900 km of deep seismic reflection data and 60 000 line kilometres of AusAEM1 airborne electromagnetic survey, supplemented with legacy information. This interpretation refines a semi-continental geological framework, as input to national coverage databases and informs decision-making for exploration and groundwater resource management. This study provides a 3D chronostratigraphic cover model down to the Paleoproterozoic basement. We mapped the depth to the base of intervals corresponding to geological eras, as well as deeper pre-Neoproterozoic superbasin boundaries to refine the cover model. The depth estimates, based on the compilation, interpretation and integration of geological and geophysical datasets, inform the basement architecture controls on evolution of the basin, with several key outcomes: 1) expanded mapped size of the South Nicholson Basin, potentially, increasing prospectivity for hydrocarbons and basin-hosted mineralisation, 2) improved stratigraphic unit correlations across the region, 3) identification of major crustal structures, some of which are associated with mineralisation and springs, and 4) improved basin architecture definition, supporting future investigation of groundwater resources.

  • This report presents palynological data compiled and analysed as part of Geoscience Australia’s ‘Assessing the Status of Groundwater in the Great Artesian Basin’ project, commissioned by the Australian Government through the National Water Infrastructure Fund – Expansion. Diverse historic nomenclature within the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) Jurassic‒Cretaceous succession in different parts of the GAB makes it difficult to map consistently GAB resources across borders, at a basin-wide scale, in order to provide a geological and hydrogeological framework to underpin effective long-term management of GAB water resources. The study undertaken by MGPalaeo, in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, examined 706 wells across the GAB and compiled 407 wells, having Jurassic‒Cretaceous succession, with reviewed palynology data (down to total depth). This initial palynology data review allowed identification of new data samples from 20 wells (within the 407 wells) in Queensland and South Australia to fill data and knowledge gaps within the Jurassic‒Cretaceous GAB succession. This study resulted in: 1) a summary compilation of existing palynology data on 407 wells selected to create a regional framework between the Surat, eastern Eromanga and western Eromanga basins, to help regional correlations across the GAB, 2) a review of several different palynology zonation schemes and adaptation to a single consistent scheme, applying the scheme of Price (1997) for the spore pollen zonation and Partridge (2006) for the marine zonation, 3) updated stratigraphic charts across the Surat, Eromanga and Carpentaria basins, 4) identification of data and knowledge gaps, and 5) sampling of new palynology data to help fill some data and knowledge gaps identified in 13 key wells in the Surat Basin and 10 key wells in the Eromanga Basin. In the Surat Basin the new sampling program has targeted units within: the Evergreen Formation, Hutton Sandstone, Springbok Sandstone, Gubberamunda Sandstone, Orallo Formation, Mooga Sandstone, Bungil Formation. In the Eromanga Basin the sampling program targeted units within: the Poolowanna Formation, Hutton Sandstone, Adori Sandstone, Algebuckina Sandstone, Namur Sandstone and Hooray Sandstone. The study undertaken by MGPalaeo, in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, provides updated biostratigraphic information compiled in a standardised chronostratigraphic framework across the Surat, Eromanga and Carpentaria basins that mostly comprise the GAB. This work allows comparison of various geological, lithological, hydrogeological schemes. It provides links between various lithostratigraphic units, with different nomenclature, across jurisdictions. It also links these units to some key regional chronostratigraphic markers that can be used to generate consistent surfaces that correlate to aquifer and aquitard boundaries. The compilation of legacy and newly sampled and analysed palynology data allows refinement of a regional chronostratigraphic framework that can be used to map a common Mesozoic play interval scheme across all the resource types, for basin-scale assessments of groundwater, hydrocarbons, carbon capture and storage, and mineral potential. From this correlation of time equivalent geological units deposited in different environments, it is then possible to map internal lithological variations in stratigraphic facies within sequences that influence hydraulic properties and connectivity within and between aquifers across the GAB. The updated geometry and variability mapping within and between aquifers will help refine the conceptual hydrogeological model, to assess how aquifers and aquitards are connected within the GAB. The revised conceptual hydrogeological model can facilitate an improved understanding of potential impacts from exploitation of sub-surface resources in the basin, providing a basis for more robust water balance estimates.

  • Geoscience Australia currently uses two commercial petroleum system modelling software packages, PetroMod https://www.software.slb.com/products/petromod and Zetaware http://www.zetaware.com, to undertake burial and thermal history modelling on wells in Australian sedimentary basins. From the integration of geological (age-based sedimentary packages, uplift and erosional events), petrophysical (porosity, permeability, and thermal conductivity) and thermal (downhole temperature, heat flow, vitrinite reflectance, and Tmax) input data, to name the most significant, a best-fit model of the time-temperature history is generated. Since the transformation of sedimentary organic matter (kerogen) into petroleum (oil and gas) is a chemical reaction, it is governed by chemical kinetics i.e. time and temperature (in the geological setting pressure is of secondary importance). Thus, the use of chemical kinetics associated with a formation-specific, immature potential source rock (where available) from the basin of interest is considered a better practical approach rather than relying on software kinetic defaults, which are generally based on the chemical kinetics determined experimentally on Northern Hemisphere organic matter types. As part of the Australian source rock and fluids atlas project being undertaken by the Energy Systems Group’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program, compositional kinetics (1-, 2-, 4- and 14-component (phase) kinetics) were undertaken by GeoS4, Germany. The phase kinetics approach is outlined in Appendix 1. This report provides the compositional kinetics for potential source rocks from the Ordovician Goldwyer (Dapingian–Darriwilian) Formation and the Bongabinni (Sandbian) Formation, Carribuddy Group, Canning Basin, Western Australia.

  • The Australian Government, through the National Water Infrastructure Fund – Expansion, commissioned Geoscience Australia (GA) to undertake the project ‘Assessing the Status of Groundwater in the Great Artesian Basin’ (GAB). The project commenced in July 2019 and will finish in June 2022. The aim of the project is to develop and evaluate new tools and techniques to assess the status of GAB groundwater system to support responsible management of basin water resources. A critical relationship exists between sediment depositional architecture and groundwater flow within and between GAB aquifers, and their connectivity with underlying and overlying aquifers. Little is known about lateral and vertical facies variation within the hydrogeological units and potential compartmentalisation and connectivity across the GAB. To improve the understanding of distribution and characteristics of Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments across the Eromanga/Galilee/Surat basins region, GA is compiling, processing and correlating a variety of well log data. Correlations have been made between geological units of similar age using palynological data from 322 key wells along 28 regional transects to standardise lithostratigraphic units, which are currently described using varying nomenclature, to a single chronostratigraphic chart across the entire GAB. The distribution of generalised sand/shale ratios calculated for 236 wells in the Surat and Eromanga basins are used to estimate the thickness of sand and shale in the different formations, with implications for formation porosity and the hydraulic properties of aquifers and aquitards. This study highlights regional lithological heterogeneity in each hydrogeological unit, and contributes to our understanding of connectivity within and between aquifers. This report and associated data package provide a first phase of data compilation on 322 key wells in the Surat and Eromanga basins to assist in updating the geological framework for the GAB. A data gap analysis and recommendations for building on this initial work are also provided.

  • This animation shows how Airborne Electromagnetic Surveys Work. 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 animations include a simplified view of what AEM equipment looks like, what the equipment measures and how the survey works.