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Surface Geology of Australia 1:2.5 million scale dataset 2012 edition

Note: This metadata describes the dataset in accordance with the ANZLIC (Australia New Zealand Land Information Council) Core Metadata Guidelines Version 2.

Dataset citation

ANZLIC unique identifier: ANZCW0703016575

Title: Surface Geology of Australia 1:2.5 million scale dataset 2012 edition


Custodian: Geoscience Australia

Jurisdiction: Australia



The 1:2.5M scale geology of Australia data documents the distribution and age of major stratigraphic, intrusive and medium to high-grade metamorphic rock units of onshore Australia. This edition contains the same geological content as previous editions (ie, 2010 and earlier), but is structured according to Geoscience Australia's 2012 data standards. The data set was compiled to use at scales between 1:2,500,000 and 1:5,000,000 inclusive. The units distinguished/mapped mainly represent stratigraphic supergroups, regional intrusive associations and regional metamorphic complexes. Groupings of Precambrian units in the time-space diagram are generally separated by major time breaks; Phanerozoic units are grouped according to stratigraphic age i.e. System/Period. The time-space diagram has the added benefit that it provides a summary of units currently included on the themes. The method used to distinguish sedimentary and many volcanic units varies for each geological eon as follows: * Cenozoic units are morphological units which emphasise the relationship of the sedimentary fill to the landscape; * Mesozoic units are regionally extensive to continent-wide time-rock units which emphasise the System of Period(s); * Paleozoic units are stratotectonic units that emphasise either the dominant System or Period(s) or the range of Periods; * Proterozoic units are commonly regional stratotectonic units - separated by major time breaks and split into the Paleoproterozoic, Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic Eras - which are generally unique to each cratonic region; and * Archean units are regional lithological units grouped into broad time divisions. Metamorphic units are lithological units which emphasise the metamorphic facies and timing of the last major metamorphic event. Igneous units are regional units which emphasise the dominant lithology and are grouped into broad time divisions.

ANZLIC search words:


Spatial domain:

locality map

Geographic extent name: AUSTRALIA EXCLUDING EXTERNAL TERRITORIES - AUS - Australia - Australia

Geographic extent polygon: 109.2335 -8.8819, 163.1921 -8.8819, 163.1921 -47.1937, 109.2335 -47.1937, 109.2335 -8.8819,

Note: The format for each Geographic extent name is: Name - Identifier - Category - Jurisdiction (as appropriate) See GEN Register

Geographic bounding box:
North bounding latitude: -8.8819 °
South bounding latitude: -47.1937 °
East bounding longitude: 163.1921 °
West bounding longitude: 109.2335 °

Data currency

Beginning date: 2012-12-06

Ending date: 2014-12-06

Dataset status

Progress: Complete

Maintenance and update frequency: Not Known


Stored data format:
DIGITAL - ArcSDE ArcSDE feature class ArcGIS Geographic GDA94
Available format type:
DIGITAL - gdb ArcGIS file geodatabase ArcGIS Geographic GDA94
DIGITAL - tab MapInfo Native Format, MapInfo table file MapInfo Geographic GDA94
DIGITAL - shp ArcView shape file ArcView Geographic GDA94

Access constraints:

? Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2012. This material is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence -

Free Data Download

Data quality


The geological content of the 2012 edition of the 1:2.5M surface geology of Australia is the same as the previous 2010 edition (ANZLIC dataset ID = ANZCW0703013817), restructured to comply with 2012 Geoscience Australia and international data standards. The original data was compiled from digital data, mainly at 1:2 500 000 scale, supplied by AGSO, GSWA, NTGS, PIRSA, GSQ, GSTAS, GSNSW and GSVIC and from data obtained from many other groups. In order to synthesise data from a variety of sources into a coherent product, the degree and nature of modification of the source data varied from case to case. Cenozoic and Mesozoic units were derived from sources, including the Cenozoic Paleogeographic Atlas of Australia (Landford et al., 1995), the Geology of Australia 1986 and a compilation of Cenozoic basins in the Alice Springs region by B.R. Senior et al. (AGSO Record 1994/66). The Phanerozoic units of southeastern Australia are substantially a modification of the 1:2 500 000 scale map entitled "Stratotectonic and Structural Elements of the Tasman Fold Belt System". The geology of Tasmania is a generalisation of data assembled as part of the TASGO project (a GSTAS and AGSO/AGCRC venture completed in 1997). The geology of South Australia is a highly generalised modification of the 1993 1:2 000 000 scale Geological Map of South Australia. For the Precambrian compilation, much of the geology of Western Australia has been derived from the Geological Map of Western Australia, 1988 with some modifications. The geology of the Kimberley, Halls Creek, Tanami and Arunta regions has been updated in line with recent mapping and some input from magnetic interpretation to emphasise relationships with the Tanami region. The geology of the Amadeus region has been generalised from the 1:1 000 000 scale "Structural Map of the Amadeus Basin" (Compiler A.J. Stewart). The geology of the Musgrave region has been re-compiled and simplified. The geology of North Queensland has been generalised by D. Palfreyman and D. Pillinger from the "North Qld Geology, 1997" 1:1 000 000 scale map (compilers J.H.C. Bain & D. Haipola).

Positional accuracy:

Nominal Scale 1:2,500,000

Variable accuracy depending on data source and on subjective generalisations made by the authors, but generally around 2km.

Some of the data comes from regions that have been well mapped and compiled at scales varying from 1:2 500 000 scale to 1:250 000 scale, while in other areas the data available was of a reconnaissance nature only. In some outback regions the only data source available was the 1976 BMR Geological Map of Australia at 1:2 500 000 scale.

Attribute accuracy:

Attributes are based on geoscientific information on source maps and in reports and research papers. As some information is the result of highly detailed recent mapping and some is taken from reconnaissance mapping several years old, attribute accuracy is highly variable.

Logical Consistency:

The extent to which Cenozoic cover is shown varies widely. In general, in regions dominated by Precambrian rocks, the bedrock distribution is emphasised, whereas in regions where Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks are present, the map more closely reflects the amount of Cenozoic cover present. Data has been checked visually and digitally using in-house routines and ESRI ArcGIS software. Every effort has been made to ensure that the accuracy and standards of the source data have been maintained. However, because of the nature of the generalisation in many regions, point data cannot be relied on to line up with polygon data.


The dataset is complete for intended use at between 1:5 000 000 and 1:2 500 000 scales.

To add to the completeness there is also a TIME CHART of geological provinces/regions of Australia included.

Contact information

Contact organisation: Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) (GA)
Contact position: Manager Client Services
Mail address: Cnr Jerrabomberra Ave and Hindmarsh Dr
Mail address: GPO Box 378
Locality: Canberra
State: ACT
Country: Australia
Postcode: 2601
Telephone: 02 6249 9966
Facsimile: 02 6249 9960
Electronic mail address:

Metadata information

Metadata date: 2013-03-08

Additional metadata

Metadata reference XHTML:

Metadata reference XML:


Authors:Raymond, O.L. (editor) Gallagher, R. (editor) Highet, L.M.