Continental Geophysics Section

Section description

An Aero Commander 500 S 'Shrike' which was used to fly airborne geophysical surveys between 1990 and 1999.

Airborne geophysical survey

Geoscience Australia's Continental Geophysics Section is an active concentration of specialists engaged in the acquisition, processing, archiving, enhancement, presentation and interpretation in the fields of airborne geophysics and gravity. The team also is involved in the development of new computational methods which can be applied to geophysical data. The Section's products and services are used by:

  • Other projects in Geoscience Australia engaged in studies of mineral systems, geological mapping, mineral province studies, sedimentary basin studies and definition of the geoid, as well as land use and environmental projects
  • exploration companies
  • organisations involved in the identification of areas at risk of salinity and its management
  • agricultural and environmental organisations
  • organisations developing infrastructure projects
  • educational and research institutions
  • other government departments.

Geoscience Australia is the custodian of the most comprehensive publicly available Australian airborne magnetic, gamma-ray, elevation model and electromagnetic database and gravity database. The airborne geophysics database contains approximately 32.8 million line kilometres of data, which, at current prices, would cost approximately $197 million to acquire. The gravity database contains more than 1.57 million reliable onshore stations gathered during more than 1800 surveys. All the products and research results from the Continental Geophysics Section are publicly available for use by other government agencies, industry and research and educational institutions. Data from the Section is available also for inter-governmental and private sector cooperative acquisition, interpretation, research and training projects.

Section outcome

  • New insights into Australia's onshore energy and mineral potential.
  • Enhanced exploration strategies, promotion of mineral exploration opportunities and improved environmental management in Australia.

Section deliverables

National Geophysical Data Acquisition and Stewardship
  • Processing, inversion, archiving and delivery of national magnetic, gravity, radiometric and airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data
  • Research into the development and application of computational methods for geophysical data inversion and building 3D geological models
  • Management of data acquisition for the States/NT under National Collaboration Framework Agreements
Australian Fundamental Gravity Network (AFGN)
  • Support, maintenance and deliver of the Australian gravity reference datum
Minerals Pre-competitive Greenfields Thomson project
  • Management of data acquisition, processing and delivery of the Thomson AEM survey in collaboration with the Geological Surveys of NSW and Qld.