Ausgeo News  March 2006   Issue No. 81

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Paterson Province gravity data released

Section of gravity map covering Paterson Province.

New gravity data covering the Paterson Province of Western Australia were released in December 2005. This new gravity dataset will be a valuable tool in assessing the mineral potential of the region.

The data were acquired in a gravity survey conducted in 2005 and managed by Geoscience Australia on behalf of the Geological Survey of Western Australia.

The survey took in a large area of the Paterson Province in the Great Sandy and Little Sandy deserts, about 1250 kilometres north of Perth. The survey area, accessed via the town of Marble Bar, is covered by northwesterly trending sand dunes and includes the significant Telfer and Nifty gold and copper mines.

Daishsat Pty Ltd performed gravity acquisition and data processing between August and October 2005. The survey used Scintrex CG3M/CG5 and LaCoste Romberg gravity meters, and geodetic-grade Ashtech Z12 GPS receivers to obtain position and ground elevations. A Bell-47 Soloy helicopter transported the operator and gravity meter between stations.

The data were acquired at a station spacing of 2.5 x 2.5 kilometres, with a small block acquired at 2 x 2 kilometres, on a survey grid oriented at approximately 330 degrees (NNW). A total of 4528 new gravity stations are now available over the survey area—a vast improvement on the old coverage of only 256 stations spaced at about 10 x 10 kilometres.

The data have been incorporated into the Australian National Gravity Database. The point-located and gridded data for the Paterson survey can be obtained free online using the GADDS download facility. An operations report can be downloaded from the Geophysical Acquisition and Databases web page.

For more information phone Murray Richardson on +61 2 6249 9229 (email

Related websites

Geophysical archive data delivery system

Operations report

1:250 000 scale raster maps now online

Geoscience Australia's TOPO-250K Raster maps are now available online. The 1:250 000 scale national topographic data is a raster version of Geoscience Australia's GEODATA TOPO-250K Series 2 national fundamental vector data. The data are available under the Australian Government Spatial Access and Pricing Policy.

This free data download facility is expected to be popular with commercial and government GIS users and map producers. The release will significantly benefit government and other users in regional planning, agriculture, emergency management, environment, tourism and map-based presentations. Commercial mapmakers will be able to use the raster data (an alternative to vector data) to develop products for tourism and other markets.

TOPO-250K Raster data is the foundation for Geoscience Australia's NATMAP Raster products. These are already popular in the recreational and commercial markets, and significant demand is expected to continue.

The two packaged versions—NATMAP Raster (four CDs) and NATMAP Raster Premium (two DVDs) 2005 releases—are inexpensive and particularly suited to recreational and occasional users without GIS capabilities, as they include viewing software, nationwide topographic maps at various scales, a satellite image and other features.

For more information phone the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre on Freecall 1800 800 173 (within Australia) or +61 2 6249 9966 (email )

Geology of Eastern Australia available as single dataset

Outcrop geology data covering all of the eastern states of Australia from Cape York to Tasmania at 1:1 million scale is now available in a single dataset from Geoscience Australia. The dataset contains over 3500 geological units all of which are registered in the Australian Stratigraphic Units Database and are attributed with the appropriate 'Stratno'. At approximately 650 Megabytes, the dataset is only available on CD or DVD through the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre. The data was released in September 2005 as four state-wide, edge-matched products: Queensland; New South Wales; Victoria (2nd edition); and Tasmania (2nd edition: see AusGeo News 79). These state-wide products continue to be available on CD or can be downloaded free of charge from the Geoscience Australia website.

Fig 1. Downloads of National Geological Datasets by industry (30 June 2004 to 17 July 2005).

Analysis of download statistics for the initial releases of Tasmania (1st edition), Victoria (1st edition), South Queensland, and NW Queensland over 12 months to July 2005 (figure 1) indicates a diverse client base with two industry sectors dominating: Minerals Exploration (27%) and   Environment (21%). Total downloads by sectors directly involved in geoscience activities including Minerals Exploration, Mining, and Oil and Gas Exploration/Production, amounted to about 40% of all downloads. A further 20% of downloads were by the Communications, Agriculture-Forestry and Fisheries, Spatial Information Services, Tourism/recreation, Energy and Water, and Planning/Land development sectors. Over the sixteen months to September 2005 there were around 700 downloads of these early versions. The new or updated state-wide datasets have proved more popular with more than 500 already downloaded since their release last September.

Figure 1. Downloads of National Geological Datasets by industry 30 June 2004 to 17 July 2005. (Larger image [GIF 20kb])

Compilation work on the surface geology of both the Northern Territory (~70% compiled) and South Australia (~50 % compiled) is well advanced. Release of version 1 products for these jurisdictions is expected by December 2006 after review by the respective territory and state geological surveys. Compilation work on the eastern part of Western Australia will commence in April.

For more information phone Alan Whitaker on +61 2 6249 9702 (email To order copies of the CDs or DVDs phone Freecall 1800 800 173 (in Australia) or +61 2 6249 9966 (email

Related articles/websites

New 1:1 million Geology of Eastern Australia available (AusGeo News 79)

Free download

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