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  • 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.

  • 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

  • Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future 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 a low emissions economy, strong resources and agriculture sectors, and economic opportunities and social benefits for Australia’s regional and remote communities. The Exploring for the Future program, which commenced in 2016, is an eight-year, $225m investment by the Australian Government. The Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian (DCD) 2D reflection seismic survey was acquired during May to August 2022 in the Delamerian Orogen, the Murray-Darling basin, the Curnamona Province, and the upper Darling River floodplain regions in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. This project is a collaboration between Geoscience Australia (GA), the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA), the Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV) and the Geological Survey of New South Wales (GSNSW) and was funded by the Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program. The overall objective of the EFTF Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian project is to improve the understanding of mineral and groundwater resources of the Curnamona Province and Delamerian Orogen and overlying basin systems through acquisition and interpretation of new pre-competitive geoscience data sets. The total length of acquisition was 1256 km distributed over five deep crustal 2D reflection seismic lines 22GA-DL1 (446 km), 22GA-DL2 (249 km), 22GA-CD1 (287 km), 22GA-CD2 (178 km), 22GA-CD3 (39.5 km) to image deep crustal structures, and a high-resolution 2D reflection seismic line 22GA-UDF (56 km) to explore groundwater resources. The DL lines provide coverage of fundamental geophysical data over the Flinders Range, the Delamerian Province and the Murray-Darling basin region in eastern South Australia and Victoria. The CD lines extend through the Curnamona Province and into the Darling Basin. The UDF line will assist with refining the hydrogeological model, understanding groundwater dynamics, and locating areas better suited to groundwater bores for better quality groundwater in the upper Darling River floodplain area. The data processing was performed by a contractor under the supervision of Geoscience Australia. The five deep crustal lines (22GA-DL1,DL2,CD1,CD2,CD3) were processed with record lengths of 20 and 8 seconds, while the shallow high-resolution line (22GA-UDF) was processed at a 4 second length. This processing yielded DMO Stack, Post-Stack Time Migration, and Pre-Stack Time Migration products. <strong>Raw shot gathers and processed gathers for this survey are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au - Quote eCat# 147423</strong>

  • <div>This document describes a series of experiments that grow student understanding of the concepts on porosity and permeability as it relates to groundwater. Sediments are used to substitute for sedimentary rocks and water movement through different types of sediment is evaluated. The document is split into two sections, background information for teachers and a 3 part experiment with activity sheet for students. The activities are suitable for use with secondary to senior secondary science and geography students.</div>

  • <div>A minor update to Version 1.0: Lu Hf and O isotope data structure and delivery.</div><div><br></div><div>Isotopic data from rocks and minerals have the potential to yield unique insights into the composition and evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle. Time-integrated records of crust and mantle differentiation (as preserved by the U-Pb, Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic systems, for example) are important in a wide range of geological applications, especially when successfully integrated with other geological, geophysical, and geochemical datasets. However, such integration requires (i) compilation of comprehensive isotopic data coverages, (ii) unification of datasets in a consistent structure to facilitate inter-comparison, and (iii) easy public accessibility of the compiled and unified datasets in spatial and tabular formats useful and useable by a broad range of industry, government and academic users. This constitutes a considerable challenge, because although a wealth of isotopic information has been collected from the Australian continent over the last 40 years, the published record is fragmentary, and derived from numerous and disparate sources. Unlocking and harnessing the collective value of isotopic datasets will enable more comprehensive and powerful interpretations, and significantly broaden their applicability to Earth evolution studies and mineral exploration.</div><div><br></div><div>As part of the Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program (https://www.ga.gov.au/eftf), we have designed a new database structure and web service system to store and deliver full Lu-Hf isotope and associated O-isotope datasets, spanning new data collected during research programs conducted by Geoscience Australia (GA), as well as compiled literature data. Our approach emphasises the links between isotopic measurements and their spatial, geological, and data provenance information in order to support the widest possible range of uses. In particular, we build and store comprehensive links to the original sources of isotopic data so that (i) users can easily track down additional context and interpretation of datasets, and (ii) generators of isotopic data are appropriately acknowledged for their contributions.</div><div><br></div><div>This system delivers complete datasets including (i) full analytical and derived data as published by the original author, (ii) additional, normalised derived data recalculated specifically to maximise inter-comparability of data from disparate sources, (iii) metadata related to the analytical setup, (iv) a broad range of sample information including sampling location, rock type, geological province and stratigraphic unit information, and (v) descriptions of (and links to) source publications. The data is delivered through the Geoscience Australia web portal (www.portal.ga.gov.au), and can also be accessed through any web portal capable of consuming Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-compliant web services, or any GIS system capable of consuming Web Map Services (WMS) or Web Feature Services (WFS).</div><div><br></div><div>Version 1.0 of this Record (Waltenberg et al., 2021) described the database system and web service tables, and featured normalised Lu-Hf data that utilised CHondritic Uniform Reservoir (CHUR) parameters from Blichert-Toft and Albarède (1997). It also presented full tabulated datasets compiled from the North Australian Craton as part of the initial EFTF (2016–2020) program, comprising 5974 individual analyses from 149 unique rock samples. This update (version 1.1) enacts minor changes to some field names within the web services tables to ensure consistency with other web services offered by GA, and for normalised Lu-Hf data, it applies the CHUR parameters of Bouvier et al. (2008) to the entire dataset. The digital datasets presented by Waltenberg et al. (2021) have also been supplemented by more recent analyses collected as part of GA projects in Queensland and New South Wales, in collaboration with the relevant State geological surveys. Version 1.1 does not include an updated tabular data release; the digital dataset available via the web portal now comprises 7630 individual analyses from 180 unique rock samples.</div>

  • <div>The Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem (GDE) Atlas (Bureau of Meteorology, 2019) is a well-known national product that has been utilised for a wide range of applications including environmental impact statements, water planning and research. A complementary GDE dataset, Groundwater Dependent Waterbodies (GDW), has been produced from Digital Earth Australia (DEA) national data products. This new GDW ArcGIS dataset is spatially aligned with Landsat satellite-derived products, enabling ready integration with other spatial data to map and characterise GDEs across the continent.</div><div><br></div><div>The DEA Water Observations Multi Year Statistics (Mueller et al. 2016; DEA 2019) and the DEA Waterbodies (version 2) data product (Kraus et al., 2021; DEA Waterbodies, 2022) have been combined with the national GDE Atlas to produce the GDW dataset which delineates surface waterbodies that are known and/or high potential aquatic GDEs. The potential of a GDE relates to the confidence that the mapped feature is a GDE, where known GDEs have been mapped from regional studies and high potential GDEs identified from regional or national studies (Nation et al., 2017). The GDW dataset are aquatic GDE waterbodies, including springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands, which rely on a surface expression of groundwater to meet some or all of their water requirements. </div><div><br></div><div>The DEA Water Observation Multi Year Statistics, based on Collection 3 Landsat satellite imagery, shows the percentage of wet observations in the landscape relative to the total number of clear observations since 1986. DEA Waterbodies identifies the locations of waterbodies across Australia that are present for greater than 10% of the time and are larger than 2700m2 (3 Landsat pixels) in size. These waterbodies include GDEs and non-GDEs (e.g. surface water features not reliant on groundwater, such as dams). Where known/high potential GDEs in the GDE Atlas intersected a DEA waterbody, the entire waterbody polygon was assigned as a potential GDW, resulting in 55,799 waterbodies in the GDW dataset. Conversely, any GDEs not classified as known/high potential GDEs in the Atlas, due to a lack of data, are not included in the GDW product. Even though this method should remove dams from the GDW dataset (assuming they have been assigned appropriately in the GDE Atlas), due to spatial misalignment some may still be included that are not potential GDEs. Furthermore, surface water features that are too small to be detected by Landsat satellite data will be excluded from the GDW dataset.</div><div><br></div><div>The GDW polygons were attributed with the spatial summary of maximum, median, mean and minimum percentages for pixels within each GDW, derived from the DEA Water Observation Multi Year Statistics i.e. maximum/minimum pixel value or median/mean across all pixels in the GDW. This attribute enables comparison between GDWs of the proportion of time they have surface water observed. An additional attribute was added to the GDW dataset to indicate amount of overlap between waterbodies and aquatic GDEs in the GDE Atlas.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>An ESRI dataset, AquaticGDW.gdb, and a variety of national ArcGIS layer files have been produced using the spatial summary statistics in the GDW dataset.</div><div>These provide a first-pass representation of known/high potential aquatic GDEs and their surface water persistence, derived consistently from Landsat satellite imagery across Australia.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>References:</strong></div><div> </div><div>Bureau of Meteorology, 2019. <em>Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas</em>. http://www.bom.gov.au/water/groundwater/gde/index.shtml </div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>DEA Water Observations Statistics, 2019. https://cmi.ga.gov.au/data-products/dea/686/dea-water-observations-statistics-landsat</div><div><br></div><div>DEA Waterbodies, 2022. https://www.dea.ga.gov.au/products/dea-waterbodies</div><div><br></div><div>Krause, C.E., Newey, V., Alger, M.J., and Lymburner, L., 2021. Mapping and Monitoring the Multi-Decadal Dynamics of Australia’s Open Waterbodies Using Landsat, <em>Remote Sensing</em>, 13(8), 1437. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081437</div><div><br></div><div>Mueller, N., Lewis, A., Roberts, D., Ring, S., Melrose, R., Sixsmith, J., Lymburner, L., McIntyre, A., Tan, P., Curnow, S. and Ip, A., 2016. Water observations from space: Mapping surface water from 25 years of Landsat imagery across Australia. <em>Remote Sensing of Environment</em>, 174, 341-352, ISSN 0034-4257.</div><div><br></div><div>Nation, E.R., Elsum, L., Glanville, K., Carrara, E. and Elmahdi, A., 2017. Updating the Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in response to user demand, 22nd International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Hobart, Tasmania, mssanz.org.au/modsim2017</div>

  • <div>Geoscience Australia’s Onshore Basin Inventories project provides a whole-of-basin inventory of geology, petroleum systems, exploration status and data coverage of hydrocarbon-prone onshore Australian sedimentary basins. Two existing volumes cover many central and north Australian onshore basins, providing a single point of reference and creating a standardised national basin inventory. In addition to summarising the current state of knowledge within each basin, the onshore basin inventory reports identify critical science questions and key exploration uncertainties that may help inform future work program planning and aid in decision making for both government and industry organisations. </div><div><br></div><div>Under Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program, several new onshore basin inventory reports are being delivered. The next releases include the Adavale Basin of southern Queensland and a compilation of Australia’s Mesoproterozoic basins. These reports are supported by value-add products that address identified data gaps and evolve regional understanding of basin evolution and prospectivity, including petroleum systems modelling, seismic reprocessing and regional geochemical studies. The Onshore Basin Inventories project continues to provide scientific and strategic direction for pre-competitive data acquisition under the EFTF work program, guiding program planning and shaping post-acquisition analysis programs.<br> <b>Citation: </b>Bailey Adam H. E., Carr Lidena K., Korsch Russell (2023) Australia’s Onshore Basin Inventories – foundational knowledge synthesis for better design of precompetitive data acquisition. <i>The APPEA Journal </i><b>63</b>, S209-S214. https://doi.org/10.1071/AJ22045

  • This is a physical collection of photographic materials created by staff of Geoscience Australia (GA) and its predecessor organisations in the course of their work between the early 1920s and the early 21st century. <b>Value: </b>Historic and scientific significance. Many sites visited are remote and have rarely been revisited. Some images are of people from First Nations, flora and fauna of Australia, its territories and other countries. <b>Scope: </b> Geographical scope is largely Australia, pre- and post-Independence Papua New Guinea, and the Australian Antarctic Territory, but other countries and territories are represented. Thematic scope varies considerably, covering a diverse range of operations of a geological survey, including land and marine surveys, field installations, rock and fossil specimens (in situ, laboratory and under microscope), buildings, passport photographs, etc. The majority of the physical image collection (photos, negatives and glass plates) is still hardcopy only and stored in an access restricted room. This collection requires extensive work to develop a comprehensive catalogue of its contents and explore options for digitisation. <b>Queries can be directed to Records Management Unit (RMU) via the <a href="https://supportworkplace.ga.gov.au/CherwellPortal/Geoscience/">Support Workplace tool</a>. </b> More recent mages received from business area's and departing staff members have been digitised and are stored in HPRM folders: P14/50 - GA Image Collection (A20/615, A20/614, A20/598, A18/111) A spreadsheet containing metadata (D2019-4576) for these images (previously delivered via a now decommissioned database), can be viewed via the Download tab. Note: This HVC record is currently only visible to internal GA staff. <b>If anyone has any additional photographic collections that reflect the history of Geoscience Australia (or its predecessor organisations) the Records Management Unit would be very interested in chatting to you.</b>

  • In 1969, an explosive shower of meteorites fell outside the town of Murchison in country Victoria. Containing organic material as well as space dust grains older than the solar system, the Murchison Meteorite has become one of the most studied meteorites and a treasure trove for science. Hear about an eye-witness account of its fall to Earth and see samples of the meteorite in the National Mineral and Fossil Collection at Geoscience Australia.