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4 October 2000
New website access helps study the North West Shelf
A newly developed website interface, implemented by Geoscience Australia, is helping industry and government to explore and manage the resource potential of the North West Shelf.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Warren Entsch MP today commended the innovative technique, which allows users to access a set of complex bathymetric, magnetic and gravity data grids over the Internet, as a significant resource for companies interested in exploring the North West Shelf for oil and petroleum.
"In addition, natural resource managers will derive considerable benefits from the application of the bathymetric data, as it underpins understanding of the biodiversity and management needs of this area," Mr Entsch said.
"The North West Shelf is one of our richest and most complex natural resources, generating more than $6 billion for the Australian economy.
"Geoscience Australia is using information technology and the World Wide Web to help petroleum explorers refine their search for new sources of oil and petroleum.
"The data will enhance explorers' ability to interpret the underlying geological structures which control petroleum systems," Mr Entsch explained.
"Being able to access this information via the Internet will be a great time and cost saving to petroleum explorers and resource managers.
"Researchers can search a relatively small area or one encompassing hundreds of kilometres and order all associated data immediately over the Geoscience Australia website.
"The information is then supplied on a CD ROM written for the user's own specifications, allowing explorers to focus on specific areas of the North West Shelf," said Mr Entsch.
The bathymetry grid, which represents the depth of the ocean floor, includes new digital data from the Australian Hydrographic Office as well as topography from the Geodata digital elevation model produced by Geoscience Australia and AUSLIG.
The gravity grid, which shows variations in the density of the sub-surface rocks, includes offshore data gathered on numerous surveys, satellite imagery and Geoscience Australia's onshore gravity database.
The magnetic anomaly grid details the strength of the magnetic field, which can assist in identifying areas containing metallic minerals and includes high-resolution data from the Magnetic Anomaly Map of Australia.
The grids are also available in their entirety on the pre-packaged North West Shelf CD ROM that covers the north-west quadrant of Australia and individual subsets for the Carnarvon, Canning, Browse, Bonaparte and Carpentaria regions.
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