Seismic survey links jurisdictions
21 November 2013
A major, new deep crustal seismic reflection survey is being undertaken to complete the acquisition of almost 1800 kilometres of continuous data across numerous geological provinces in two States and the Northern Territory.
The Eucla-Gawler survey will extend 860 kilometres from Haig in south-eastern Western Australia to Tarcoola in South Australia and link to previous surveys in Western Australia's Yilgarn Craton and adjacent Albany-Fraser Orogen, the Gawler and Curnamona provinces in South Australia and Amadeus Basin in the Northern Territory, resulting in one of the most comprehensive surveys of its kind in Australia.
The survey will extend a 300 kilometre seismic line acquired in 2012 along the path of the Trans Australian Railway from east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and link to another acquired in 2009 which extends 634 kilometres north from Tarcoola in South Australia to near Kulgera in the Northern Territory.
The Chief of Geoscience Australia's Minerals and Natural Hazards Division, Dr Andy Barnicoat said that the survey represents a great example of State and Australian Government cross-border cooperation as part of the National Mineral Exploration Strategy and covers largely under-explored areas between two of the most prospective geological regions in the world, with the Yilgarn Craton to the west and the Gawler Craton to the east.
"Much of the region to be covered by the survey is under extensive sedimentary cover associated with the Eucla Basin, which has resulted in the bedrock underlying the region being very poorly understood," Dr Barnicoat said.
"Similar geological zones around the world are associated with a range of mineral deposits and the data collected will help to develop a fresh understanding of the region's geology and mineral systems which, in turn, will stimulate mineral exploration investment, leading to new discoveries and mine developments," Dr Barnicoat said.
The survey will obtain details of the crustal geology underlying the Eucla Basin and will be integrated with recently acquired magnetic and gravity surveys in both Western Australia and South Australia, along with the results of targeted basement drilling.
The resulting data will provide a fresh opportunity to develop an understanding of a largely unseen geological region and help to establish its subsurface extent, along with its relationship to the Yilgarn and the Gawler cratons and reveal geological structures in the basement rocks which may have provided pathways for mineralisation.
The survey is a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, the South Australian Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy, the Geological Survey of Western Australia and AuScope Earth Imaging, with funding in South Australia through the PACE 2020 initiative and in Western Australia through the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS). The survey is expected to be completed in February 2014.