The Exploring for the Future Impact Pathway

The Exploring for the Future program is a large, multifaceted science initiative. The vision for the program is to support a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of Australians through an integrated geoscientific understanding of our mineral, energy and groundwater potential.

To set out how Geoscience Australia will meet this vision, we have summarised the ways our scientific activities, outputs and intended outcomes and impacts are linked, using the Impact Pathway diagram.

The pathway diagram is adapted from the CSIRO Impact Framework. and is designed to complement the project map and highlight the key interrelationships between projects. It is intended to be read from left to right to represent the chronological order of activities and outcomes.

The narrowing from left to right of Science and Data Activities represents both the amount of effort/time and the narrowing of focus of the listed activities. It recognises that the majority of the program’s efforts are on the acquisition and management of data, as well as the development and application of robust data analytics. From the analysis of these datasets a growing characterisation of Australia’s geology emerges, from the surface down to great depths.

A distinguishing aspect of the program is that although it is focused on understanding groundwater, energy and mineral systems, the datasets, tools and insights into Australia’s geology are also relevant to other applications such as soil mapping and geohazard assessments.

The Outputs are three key program deliverables which each project contributes to. The website is the key point of contact for the program and the Exploring for the Future Data Discovery Portal is the main data discovery and decision support tool where datasets and resource assessments can be integrated and interrogated in 2D, 3D and some even in 4D. Publications consist of a mix of GA data/code releases, extended abstracts, GA Records and journal articles necessary to communicate the science of the program. Highlights include an executive report and ongoing program communication.

The broadening from left to right of the Outcomes and Impacts represents the increasing value of realised objectives across the short (1-5 years), medium (1-10 years) and long-term. Please note, that while we have articulated nominal short and medium time-frames outcomes, these are likely to continue into the future as the value and utility of our datasets and insights are enduring.

The 2020–24 Exploring for the Future program is comprised of eight interrelated projects:

  • Three deep-dive projects in potentially resource-rich corridors
  • Three continental-scale projects with a focus on southern Australia
  • Two program-support projects involving data management and program communication