AusGeo News December 2010 Issue No. 100
Staff from Geoscience Australia and the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University collaborated to organise the 14th International Symposium on Deep Seismic Profiling of the Continents and their Margins - SEISMIX 2010. This biennial meeting is the latest in a series of conferences which commenced in 1984 at Cornell University in the United States. The focus is on the acquisition and interpretation of seismic data across continents, their margins and deep ocean basins. This means structures related to natural resources or natural hazards that affect the lives of communities around the world can be imaged. The symposium was sponsored by the Specialist Group on Solid Earth Geophysics of the Geological Society of Australia, Geoscience Australia, the Australian National University, and IGCP Project 559.
The meeting was held in the Rydges Esplanade Hotel Cairns, between 29 August and 3 September, and was attended by eighty-four earth scientists from fifteen countries. During the week, 112 oral and poster papers were presented on seismic topics which ranged from large scale, deep crustal studies of continental margins and cratonic evolution, through to smaller scale seismic studies of petroleum, mineral and geothermal systems. New to the SEISMIX series was a small session on seismic investigations related to the sequestration of carbon dioxide. New developments in seismic acquisition, processing and modelling methods were also covered.
The excellent technical program and discussions were complemented and strengthened by the relaxed environment, including a conference dinner at a local crocodile farm which was greatly enjoyed by the overseas visitors and locals alike.
An optional four day post symposium field excursion, led by Dr Ian Withnall from the Queensland Geological Survey and Dr Leonie Jones from Geoscience Australia, provided an opportunity for 25 keen earth-imaging scientists to traverse several deep seismic transects acquired by Geoscience Australia. They could examine the rock specimens and relate them to seismic sections acquired during the regional seismic transects from the 2007 Onshore Energy Security Program North Queensland Project (AusGeo News 96). The excursion inspired many stimulating discussions about seismic interpretation, and especially the position of the eastern continental margin of Australia in the neo-Proterozoic (600 million years), also referred to as the Tasman Line.
All delegates agreed that SEISMIX 2010 was a great success and very enjoyable. The next SEISMIX will be held in 2012.
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Expanding our knowledge of North Queensland (AusGeo News 96)
The 13th annual Earth Science Week, an international initiative to promote the earth sciences and raise awareness of geoscience's contribution to the community, was celebrated between 10 and 16 October 2010 based on the theme 'Exploring Energy'. Geoscience Australia has participated in Earth Science Week activities for 12 years, hosting Australia's Earth Science Week website and coordinating Australia's celebrations, which include presentations, Open Days, school excursions and exhibitions.
The Geologi Short Film Competition, run in conjunction with the Australian Science Teachers Association, is a major Geoscience Australia contribution to Earth Science Week. Now in its fourth year, Geologi's theme for 2010 was 'Ever-changing Earth' and asked students to explore the role Earth science plays in our interactions with an ever-changing Earth. Entries were received from every state and territory and more than 250 students participated. Awards for 2010 were presented in the Primary and Junior categories, with the Primary Gold Geologi won by Phillip Ebson, Flynn Martin and Jacob Lanmaid from Table Cape Primary School, Tasmania and the Junior Gold Geologi was presented to Morgan Mikulic, of Marist College, ACT.
Another of Geoscience Australia's Earth Science Week initiatives was the inaugural Top GeoShot Competition, which invited amateur photographers to submit their photographs illustrating the diversity and essence of Australian Earth science. Of the many spectacular entries received, twelve were selected as the Top Shots and were displayed in an exhibition in the Geoscience Australia Foyer and will be included on Geoscience Australia's Education website.
The culmination of Earth Science Week celebrations for Geoscience Australia was the agency's annual Open Day. A range of displays, tours and activities showcased the agency's research, and demonstrated how Geoscience Australia applies its research to some of the major challenges facing Australia. This year over 1200 visitors created their own sedimentary rocks, sampled groundwater of varying palatability, watched volcanoes explode and panned for gold as well as visiting Antarctica and taking a walk back through geological time…all on site at Symonston.
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