Deep seismic survey uncovers Australia's secret past

28 September 2006

Fresh analysis of seismic data gathered in the Broken Hill region has revealed signs of a previously unidentified merging of two pieces of the Earth’s crust.

Image of seismic thumper trucks in the field

Geoscience Australia scientist, Dr Russell Korsch, told the Broken Hill Exploration Initiative Conference that improved techniques in the interpretation of deep seismic data showed an anomaly occurring at between 42 and 54 kilometres below the surface which indicated a strong correlation between the varying ages of rocks at the surface and a major joining of two very different pieces of the Earth's crust.

"The architecture at depth helps to explain the previously puzzling difference between the rocks of up to 1,720 million years in the Broken Hill region and the less than 600 million year old rocks in the more easterly Darling region," he said.

"The result provides a much clearer understanding of the geological architecture well beyond the Moho, or Mohorovicic discontinuity, and will help in the identification of possible mineralisation in the region," Dr Korsch said.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013