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  • Multiple geochronology and isotopic tracer datasets have been compiled at continental scale and visualised in map view. The compiled datasets include Sm-Nd model ages of magmatic rocks; Lu-Hf isotopes from zircon; Pb isotopes from ore-related minerals such as galena and pyrite; U-Pb ages of magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks; and K-Ar and 40Ar-39Ar ages from minerals and whole rocks. A variety of maps can be derived from these datasets, which we refer to as an Isotopic Atlas of Australia. This ‘atlas’ provides a convenient visual overview of age and isotopic patterns reflecting geological processes that have led to the current configuration of the Australian continent, including progressive development of continental crust from the mantle (Sm-Nd; Lu-Hf), chemical and isotopic evolution in the source regions for mineralising fluids (Pb-Pb), magmatic and high-grade metamorphic reworking of the crust (U-Pb), and cooling and exhumation of the mid-crust (K-Ar; 40Ar-39Ar). These datasets and maps unlock the collective value of several decades of geochronological and isotopic studies conducted across Australia, and provide an important complement to other geological maps and geophysical images—in particular, by adding a time dimension to 2D and 3D maps and models. <b>Citation: </b>Fraser, G.L., Waltenberg,K., Jones, S.L., Champion, D.C., Huston, D.L., Lewis, C.J., Bodorkos, S., Forster, M., Vasegh, D., Ware, B. and Tessalina, S., 2020. An Isotopic Atlas of Australia. 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.

  • The magnetotelluric (MT) method is increasingly being applied to map tectonic architecture and mineral systems. Under the Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program, Geoscience Australia has invested significantly in the collection of new MT data. The science outputs from these data are underpinned by an open-source data analysis and visualisation software package called MTPy. MTPy started at the University of Adelaide as a means to share academic code among the MT community. Under EFTF, we have applied software engineering best practices to the code base, including adding automated documentation and unit testing, code refactoring, workshop tutorial materials and detailed installation instructions. New functionality has been developed, targeted to support EFTF-related products, and includes data analysis and visualisation. Significant development has focused on modules to work with 3D MT inversions, including capability to export to commonly used software such as Gocad and ArcGIS. This export capability has been particularly important in supporting integration of resistivity models with other EFTF datasets. The increased functionality, and improvements to code quality and usability, have directly supported the EFTF program and assisted with uptake of MTPy among the international MT community. <b>Citation:</b> Kirkby, A.L., Zhang, F., Peacock, J., Hassan, R. and Duan, J., 2020. Development of the open-source MTPy package for magnetotelluric data analysis and visualisation. 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 fact sheet sets out the goals, vision and benefits of the Exploring for the Future program, as well as the ways we conduct fieldwork and what the information gathered is used for.

  • NDI Carrara 1 is a deep stratigraphic drill hole (~1751m) completed in 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 report presents inorganic geochemical analyses undertaken by Geoscience Australia on selected rock samples, collected at roughly 4 m intervals.

  • 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. Hydrogeological data acquisition and interpretation in the Ti Tree Basin, Northern Territory, was undertaken by Geoscience Australia as part of the EFTF Program. Located ~150 km north of Alice Springs, the Cenozoic basin hosts regionally significant groundwater resources, relied upon by communities, irrigators and pastoralists. Although the basin has been extensively studied over several decades, critical information gaps still remain, particularly for the deep groundwater system (>80 m depth). Work combining new geophysical and hydrochemical data with pre-existing datasets has revealed a more complex basin hydrogeology. Mapping based on airborne electromagnetics (AEM) has identified complex structural controls on the distribution of the deep basin sequence, with consequences for aquifer compartmentalisation, regional groundwater flow and aquifer connectivity. The mapping also shows where the basin sediments are much thicker than previously drilled. The hydrochemical assessment highlighted the complexity in groundwater recharge mechanisms, showing that the rainfall threshold for effective recharge and the role of evaporation are not consistent across the floodout zones in the basin. The EFTF products provide guidance for future hydrogeological investigations. In particular, there is evidence from historic drilling for potentially useful groundwater resources in the underexplored deep basin sequence. The EFTF program has expanded the knowledge base and datasets for the Ti Tree Basin. Collectively, these are valuable assets not just for basin groundwater management but also for the broader understanding of groundwater resources and processes in central Australia.

  • This report presents groundwater levels results from the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project in North Queensland, 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 Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Government. It focuses on basalt groundwater resources in two geographically separate areas: the Nulla Basalt Province (NBP) in the south and the McBride Basalt Province (MBP) in the north. This report describes a data release of water levels measured in monitoring bores in both provinces by Geoscience Australia during the EFTF project. It 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 dataloggers 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 (i) 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 B, and (ii) Data files in CSV file format reporting the final water levels used to generate the hydrographs in Appendix B. This data release report does not include hydrograph interpretation, which is undertaken in detail in: Cook, S. B. & Ransley, T. R., 2020. Exploring for the Future—Groundwater level interpretations for the McBride and Nulla basalt provinces: Upper Burdekin region, North Queensland. Geoscience Australia, Canberra, https://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/135439.

  • This double-sided A4 flyer promotes EFTF chronostratigraphic work in the NT, as well as the EFTF newsletter

  • Magnetotellurics is one of few techniques those can provide multiple-scale datasets to understand the larger mineral system. We have used long-period data from the Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP) as first-order reconnaissance survey to resolve large-scale lithospheric architectures for mapping areas of mineral potential in northern Australia. The 3D resistivity model reveals a broad conductivity anomaly extending from the Tennant Region to the Murphy Province, representing a potential fertile source region for mineral systems. We then undertook a higher-resolution infill magnetotellurics survey to refine the geometry of major structures, and to investigate if the deep structure is connected to the near surface by crustal-scale fluid pathways. The resistivity models reveal two prominent conductors in the resistive host whose combined responses result in the lithospheric-scale conductivity anomaly mapped in the AusLAMP model. The resistivity contrasts coincide with major structures preliminarily interpreted from seismic reflection and potential field data. Most importantly, the conductive structures extend from the lower crust to the near surface at where the major faults are located. This observation strongly suggests that these major faults are deep-penetrating structures that potentially acted as pathways for transporting metalliferous fluids to the upper crust where they could form mineral deposits. This result indicates high mineral prospectivity for iron oxide copper–gold deposits in the vicinity of these major faults. We then used high-frequency data to estimate cover thickness to assist with drill targeting for the stratigraphic drilling program which, in turn, will test the models and improve our understanding of basement geology, cover sequences and mineral potential. This study demonstrates that integration of geophysical data from multiscale surveys is an effective approach to scale reduction during mineral exploration in covered terranes. This Abstract was submitted/presented to the 2021 Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference 13 - 17 September https://2021.aegc.com.au/.

  • All commercially produced hydrogen worldwide is presently stored in salt caverns. In eastern Australia, the only known thick salt accumulations are found in the Boree Salt of the Adavale Basin in central Queensland. Although the number of wells penetrating the basin is limited, salt intervals up to 555 m thick have been encountered. The Boree Salt consists predominantly of halite and is considered to be suitable for hydrogen storage. Using well data and historical 2D seismic interpretations, we have developed a 3D model of the Adavale Basin, particularly focussing on the thicker sections of the Boree Salt. Most of the salt appears to be present at depths greater than 2000 m, but shallower sections are found in the main salt body adjacent to the Warrego Fault and to the south at the Dartmouth Dome. The preliminary 3D model developed for this study has identified three main salt bodies that may be suitable for salt cavern construction and hydrogen storage. These are the only known large salt bodies in eastern Australia and therefore represent potentially strategic assets for underground hydrogen storage. There are still many unknowns, with further work and data acquisition required to fully assess the suitability of these salt bodies for hydrogen storage. Recommendations for future work are provided. <b>Citation:</b> Paterson R., Feitz A. J., Wang L., Rees S. & Keetley J., 2022. From A preliminary 3D model of the Boree Salt in the Adavale Basin, Queensland. In: Czarnota, K. (ed.) Exploring for the Future: Extended Abstracts, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, https://dx.doi.org/10.26186/146935

  • July 2020: The data in this product has been superseded, with the new dataset available here: <a href="https://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/133388">https://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/133388</a> However, the report in this product still presents valuable insights e.g., into the relationship between copper in the regolith and groundwater. The mineral resources of Tennant Creek and Mt Isa have contributed tremendously to the economic development the Northern Territory and Queensland. Vast areas of poorly known mineral potential remain under explored between and around these two mining centres, with prospective solid geology covered by a relatively thin layer of transported sediments. Hydrogeochemical surveys utilise groundwater as a passive sampling medium to reveal the chemistry of the underlying geology including hidden mineralisation. These surveys also provide regional baseline groundwater datasets that can inform environmental monitoring and decision making.