Onshore Seismic and Magnetotelluric project

Geoscience Australia has more than 40 years experience in land seismic surveys and since 1980 has acquired in excess of 15000 kilometres of onshore deep crustal seismic reflection data and numerous 2D seismic refraction profiles.

The key objectives of the Onshore Seismic and Magnetotelluric project (OSMT) are to:

Map of survey lines across Australia. Surveys and locations listed below.

Figure 1
Map of Australia showing
all the survey lines

  • Manage and deliver the seismic and MT data acquisition and processing on behalf of Geoscience Australia and its collaborators through National Collaboration Agreements
  • operate the Geoscience Australia component of the National Research Facility for Earth Sounding (ANSIR) in conjunction with the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide by acquiring seismic and MT datasets for eligible research projects
  • maintain and develop legacy onshore seismic datasets and respond to client requests for seismic and ancillary data.

Achievements to Date

Complete Datasets (1949-present)

Processed SEG-Y data, images and metadata of seismic surveys are available for download.

Seismic datasets by state:

The location of onshore seismic lines are shown in each state on the seismic map gallery.

Deep Crustal Seismic Reflection Profiles

In a joint venture between Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University, images of seismic reflection data which were collected over more than 30 years have been compiled into a single publication. The compilation includes groupings of multiple large-scale reflection transect over 1000 kilometres or more that link across major geological provinces. The reflection profiles cover many different geological environments. The profiles are at 1:1 a horizontal to vertical scale and are accompanied by a geological strip map showing the configuration of the profile and its relation to other nearby seismic lines. The compilation includes an extensive bibliography of reports and relevant publications.

The Deep Crustal Seismic Reflection Profiling Australia 1978-2011 is available from ANU E Press as a free download

Recent Datasets

Table 1 lists the seismic surveys, their length, the data types acquired and the planned dates for release of the processed data.

Table 2 lists the magnetotelluric surveys, the number of stations and the planned dates for release of the processed data.

L207 Boulia Seismic Survey

Figure 2
Location Map of Boulia Seismic Survey
in QLD

Seven hundred and seven km of deep crustal reflection data were collected for a Boulia Region seismic survey along two transects: 14GA-CF2 (368 km) and 14GA-CF3 (339 km) during November 2014 to January 2015. An additional 146 km of deep crustal reflection data were collected for a Boulia Extension Seismic Survey along a single transect 15GA-CF3 with an overlap of 6 km with 14GA-CF3 transect in May 2015. The survey involved the acquisition of seismic reflection and gravity data. The purpose of the survey was to develop an understanding of the structural architecture, kinematic history and tectonic context of the major 'greenfields' province; determine the variability of the depth to mineralised basement; and identify potentially prospective Neoproterozoic rift basins. The Project is a collaboration between Geoscience Australia and Geological Survey of Queensland and funded under Queensland Government's Future Resources (Mount Isa Geophysics) Program. The data processing is being undertaken by a contractor on behalf of GA and GSQ and is expected to be released in May 2016. Raw data are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au

L206 South Gippsland Seismic Survey

Figure 3
Location Map South Gippsland Seismic
Survey in Victoria

2D seismic reflection data were acquired in the South Gippsland region of Victoria in June-July 2015. The project was a collaboration between the Geological Survey of Victoria and Geoscience Australia. The purpose of the survey was to gain an understanding of the geometry and internal structure of the Cretaceous Strzelecki Group and the underlying Palaeozoic basement of the Melbourne Zone. Two hundred and three km of deep crustal reflection data were collected for the South Gippsland seismic survey along four transects 15GA-SG1, 15GA-SG2, 15GA-SG3 and 15GA-SG4. The data processing is being undertaken by a contractor on behalf of GA and GSV and is expected to be released in March 2016. Raw data are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au

L205 Canning Coastal Seismic Survey

Figure 4
Location Map Canning Coastal Seismic
Survey in WA

In May-June 2014 Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Western Australia acquired 705 km of deep crustal seismic and gravity data along two lines 14GA-CC1 (562km) and 14GA-CC2 (143km) between Port Hedland and Derby, WA. The main objectives of the project were to image the crustal architecture of the geology underlying the Canning Basin and its relationship to the boundaries between the crystalline hard rock areas of the North (Kimberley) and West Australian (Pilbara) cratons; establish the subsurface extent of the Canning Basin and the extent and nature of its sub-basins and troughs. The project was funded by Western Australian State Government's Royalties for Regions Exploration Incentive Scheme. Data were processed by a contractor on behalf of GA and GSWA. Selected data and images are available for download, raw SEGD data and a  full processed data set including Pre-Stack Time Migration (PSTM), Pre-Stack  Depth Migration (PSDM), Post-Stack Migration, Angle Stacks and CDP gathers in  SEGY format are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au

L204 Southeastern Mt Isa Seismic Survey

Figure 5
Location Map of Southeastern
Mt Isa Seismic Survey in QLD

A 670 km deep crustal seismic transect 14GA-CF1 runs along the gazetted road corridor from Longreach to Canobie, terminating further north near Four Ways, Queensland. The seismic and gravity data were collected along this transect during April-May 2014 as a part of collaborative project between Geoscience Australia and Geological Survey of Queensland under the Queensland Government's Greenfields 2020 Program. The main objective of the project was to image the Cork Fault zone and investigate the influence of basement structures on the localisation and development of mineral systems along this fault, and determine the variability of the depth to prospective basement. The fault zone and the southern margin of the Mount Isa Inlier are considered to have significant potential for hosting large or even giant ore deposits comprising mineral commodities such as iron-oxide-copper-gold, uranium, and platinum-nickel. Raw data are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au

L203 Eucla-Gawler Seismic Survey

Figure 6
Location Map Eucla-Gawler Seismic
Survey in WA

Deep crustal seismic reflection data along the 830 km Eucla-Gawler transect 13GA-EG1 were acquired during November 2013 to February 2014 as a part of collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, the State Government's Geological Survey of South Australia, the Geological Survey of Western Australia and AuScope. The line crosses the Eucla Basin and runs along the Trans Railway Line Access road from Haig in Western Australia through to Tarcoola in South Australia. The purpose of the survey was to image the crustal architecture of the geology underlying the Eucla Basin and its relationship to the Gawler Craton to the east and the Yilgarn Craton to the west; to establish the subsurface extent of the Eucla Basin and image any large structural zones that may have provided fluid pathways for mineralisation. Processed data for the east part of the line are now available with the western half of the line due to be released in April 2016. Raw data are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au 

L202 Yathong Trough Seismic Survey

Figure 7
Location Map of Yathong
Trough Seismic Survey in NSW

Geoscience Australia in collaboration with Geological Survey of New South Wales as a part of the NSW New Frontiers Initiative conducted the Yathong Trough 2D Seismic Survey in 2013. Two hundred and thirty km of the deep crustal seismic reflection data were collected along two lines 13GA-YT1 (98km) and 13GA-YT2 (132 km) in the Yathong Trough of the Darling Basin. The purpose of the survey was to provide a new dataset on the regional geology and image major structures of the Yathong Trough within the Darling Basin. Raw data are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au with processed data released May 2016.

L201 Albany-Fraser Orogen

Figure 8
Location Map Albany-Fraser Orogen
Seismic Survey in WA

Geoscience Australia conducted the Albany-Fraser Orogen 2D Seismic Survey in 2012. The survey involved the acquisition of seismic reflection and gravity Data over the Yilgarn Craton margin and the Albany-Fraser Orogen of Western Australia. The survey consisted of four lines, totalling 672 kilometres. The project is collaboration between Geoscience Australia and the Geological Survey of Western Australia and was funded through the Western Australian Government's Royalties for Regions Exploration Incentive Scheme. The primary objective was to image the crustal architecture of the Yilgarn Craton margin and its relationship to the Albany Fraser Orogen, establish the subsurface extent of the Yilgarn Craton beneath the Albany-Fraser Orogen, and identify any mantle-tapping structures that may have provided fluid pathways for mineralization.

A 70 kilometre long deep crustal seismic line was also acquired near the Tropicana Gold mine with the assistance of AuScope Earth Imaging, Anglo Gold Ashanti and the Independence Group. The purpose of this line was to understand the structural geometry around the Tropicana gold deposit and help define prospective areas elsewhere along the belt. The data from this line is due to be released in late April 2014

L200 Southern Carnarvon Seismic Survey

The Southern Carnarvon survey imaged the Byro Sub-basin, an under-explored depocentre with both hydrocarbon and geothermal energy potential in the onshore section of the Carnarvon Basin, Australia's premier petroleum producing province (see Figure 9). The survey was conducted in May 2011 and final data and images were released in September 2012.

L199 Yilgarn-Officer-Musgrave Seismic and MT Survey

In June and July 2011, 487km of seismic reflection, gravity, MT and wide angle refraction data were acquired over the western Officer Basin, another of Australia's under-explored sedimentary basins with hydrocarbon potential. The survey data will build on the geoscientific knowledge of the architecture of Australia's crust and the relationship with the western Yilgarn and central Musgrave cratons and the overlying Officer Basin (see Figure 9). Final processed data and images were released in January 2013.

L196 GSWA Youanmi Seismic and MT Survey

From May to August 2010, 695 kilometres of seismic reflection, gravity and MT data were acquired over the Youanmi Terrane and Eastern Goldfields Superterrane of the Yilgarn Craton (10GA-YU1, 10GA-YU2 and 10GA-YU3) (see Figure 9). Final processed data and images were released in August 2012.

L195 AuScope/GSWA Capricorn Seismic Survey

Map of seismic surveys in WA. See L195 AuScope/GSWA Capricorn, L196 GSWA Youanmi Seismic and MT Survey, L199 Yilgarn-Officer-Musgrave Seismic and MT Survey and L200 Southern Carnarvon Seismic Survey for details.

Figure 9
Map of survey lines in
Western Australia

From April through to May 2010, 581 kilometres of seismic reflection and gravity data was acquired in the Pilbara/Gascoyne region of Western Australia (10GA-CP1, 10GA-CP2 and 10GA-CP3). This was a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) and AuScope Earth Imaging (a component of NCRIS). The aim of the survey was to image the extent of the Archean crust beneath the Capricorn Orgeny and identify the relationship between the Pilbara and Yilgarn cratons (see Figure 9). The processed data and images are available to industry and a public workshop releasing the interpreted data was conducted in Perth on 23 November 2011.

L194 Ararat Seismic Survey

This survey was acquired directly after the Southern Delamarian survey and consists of a 69.9 kilometres traverse (09GA-AR1) that crosses the boundary between the Delamerian and Lachlan orogens (see Figure 10). GSV provided the majority of funding for this survey with Geoscience Australia providing the project management and processing through OESP funding. The processed data is available to industry.

L193 AuScope Southern Delamerian Seismic Survey

During November 2009, 197 kilometres of seismic reflection and gravity data were acquired over two traverses in the Southern Delamerian Province (09GA-SD1 and 09GA-SD2) (see Figure 10). This survey was primarily funded by AuScope. GeoScience Victoria (GSV) co-contributed towards this survey with Geoscience Australia providing project management and processing. The processed seismic data is available to industry.

Map of seismic surveys in western Victoria into South Australia. See L193 AuScope Southern Delamarian for details.

Figure 10
Map of the AuScope Southern
Delamerian seismic survey line

L192 Georgina Basin Arunta Inlier Seismic Survey

During June and July 2009, 373 kilometres of seismic reflection, MT and gravity data were acquired along a north-south trending traverse commencing in the Paleoproterozoic Davenport Province. The traverse then crossed the Georgina Basin, Arunta Inlier into the top of the Amadeus Basin (see Figure 11). The aim of the survey was to image fundamental controlling structures of basin development, and to shed light on deformation and fault reactivation expected from the Silurian to Carboniferous Alice Springs Orogeny. The processed seismic data is available to industry.

L191 Curnamona-Gawler Link

In January 2009, seismic data were acquired along a traverse which crossed from the Gawler Craton to the Curnamona Province (09GA-CG1) see (Figure 12). This survey was jointly funded by PIRSA and Geoscience Australia through the OESP. A total of 145 kilometres of new seismic data were acquired. The traverse joins onto a traverse of the Curnamona Province which was conducted in 2003-04. The interpreted processed data was released at the South Australia Seismic and MT workshop, Adelaide, May 2010.
Map of seismic surveys in the southeastern Northern Territory. See L192 Georgina Basin Arunta Inlier for details.

Figure 11
Map of the Georgina
Basin Seismic survey line

L190 Gawler-Officer-Musgrave-Amadeus Survey (GOMA)

During November and December 2008, 634 kilometres of seismic reflection, gravity and MT data were acquired in one continuous north-south traverse beginning 25 kilometres southeast of Erldunda in the Northern Territory and completing near Tarcoola in South Australia (08GA-OM1) (see Figure 12). This traverse followed the Alice Springs to Adelaide railway line utilising the railway access road and was jointly funded by Geoscience Australia through the OESP, AuScope and Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy. The uninterpreted processed seismic data and sections are now available.

The aims of this survey is to provide new insights into the crustal architecture of two Neoproterozoic sedimentary basins in Central Australia and their tectonic relationship to older (Mesoproterozoic) basement terrains. Of particular relevance is the identification of structural elements in the basinal sections which may host hydrocarbons which were generated prior to the Alice Springs Orogeny.

The interpreted processed data was released at the GOMA (Gawler-Officer-Musgrave-Amadeus) seismic and magnetotelluric workshop, November 2010.

L189 Gawler-Curnamona-Arrowie

Map of seismic surveys in South Australia. See L189 Gawler-Curnamona-Arrowie, L190 Gawler-Officer-Musgrave-Amadeus Survey (GOMA) and L191 Curnamona-Gawler Link for details for details.

Figure 12
Map showing seismic lines
in South Australia

Geoscience Australia undertook acquisition of seismic reflection in South Australia as part of the OESP in June/July 2008. This survey consisted of three traverse lines, one across the Gawler province (08GA-G1, 253 kilometres), one across the Curnamona province (08GA-C1, 262 kilometres) and one in the Arrowie Basin (08GA-A1, 60.4 kilometres) (see Figure 12).

The interpreted processed data was released at the South Australia Seismic and MT workshop, Adelaide, May 2010.

L188 Rankins Springs Seismic Survey

The Rankins Springs-Yathong Troughs Seismic Survey was the first survey of an under-explored onshore petroleum basin undertaken as part of the OESP. The deep seismic survey comprised two east-west traverse lines, one each across the Rankins Springs and Yathong Troughs in the southeastern Darling Basin in western New South Wales (see Figure 13). The survey acquired a total of 234 kilometres of seismic data in March 2008.

Map of seismic surveys in central NSW. See L188 Rankin Springs for details.

Figure 13
Map of Rankins Springs
seismic survey lines

In February 2009 the northernmost line across the Yathong Trough was extended 32km to the east over the Central Lachlan Fold Belt. The 2008 data (08GA-RS2) was re-processed together with the 2009 data to produce the Rankins Springs Extension line (09GA-RS2).

The survey was jointly funded by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW-DPI) and Geoscience Australia through the OESP. The raw seismic data and uninterpreted processed seismic sections from the survey are available to the petroleum industry.

L186 AuScope

Leveraging off the timing and location of the Mount Isa-Georgetown-Charters Towers surveys, AuScope, which is a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, funded 205 kilometres of seismic reflection line (see Figure 14). This line, 07GA-A1 was designed to image the Tasman Line and provide information on the structure and evolution of this part of the Australian continent.

The interpreted processed data was released at the North Queensland Seismic and MT Workshop, Townsville, June 2009.

L184 and L185 Isa-Georgetown-Charters Towers

During May to October 2007 Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSA) contracted Terrex Seismic to undertake the Isa-Georgetown and the Georgetown-Charters Towers Deep Seismic Reflection Surveys. These surveys acquired 1200 kilometres of deep seismic reflection, gravity and magnetotelluric data along three traverses, 07GA-IG1, 07GA-IG2 and 07GA-GC1 (see Figure 9).

Funding for this survey was provided by the OESP and Queensland's Smart Mining - Future Prosperity Program and was aimed at imaging from the eastern edge of the Mount Isa Province across the Georgetown Province and southeast through the Charters Towers region into the Drummond Basin.

The interpreted processed data was released at the North Queensland Seismic and MT Workshop, Townsville, June 2009.

L180 Mount Isa

Map of seismic surveys in northern Queensland. See L180 Mount Isa and L189 Gawler-Curnamona-Arrowie for details.

Figure 14
Map of the Isa/Georgetown/
Charters Towers survey lines

In late 2006 deep crustal reflection seismic and gravity data were acquired across the Mount Isa Inlier and the Lawn Hill Platform in northwest Queensland (see Figure 14). The survey was a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, funded through the OESP, the Queensland Government, funded through the Smart Mining - Future Prosperity Program, Zinifex Pty Ltd and the Predictive Mineral Discovery Cooperative Research Centre (pmd*CRC). A total of 900 kilometres of data over six traverses were acquired and the data was released at the Mount Isa Crustal Seismic Workshop, Mount Isa, June 2008.