Officer-Musgrave

This project is investigating the groundwater and energy potential of the Officer Basin and neighbouring Musgrave Province near the junction of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The central deserts of Australia represent a vast tract of Australia’s arid interior spanning Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Recent studies in the region revealed pockets of potable groundwater in ancient, buried river valleys (palaeovalleys). The Officer-Musgrave project is establishing the extent and characteristics of these palaeovalleys, to enable sustainable management of the groundwater resources. This potential new source of water could be transformative for communities in the region, which currently rely on unpredictable, hard-rock aquifers.

Geoscience Australia is providing new data to improve the geological knowledge of the basin and its geological constraints. The project is also filling knowledge gaps in the energy potential of this under-explored region through reanalysis of new and legacy pre-competitive geoscience datasets.

Due to the limited audience of this diagram and its complexity, no alternative description has been provided. Please email clientservices@ga.gov.au

Officer-Musgrave

What we are doing

The project incorporates a number of study areas and proposed activities, including:

Geology and Stratigraphy Studies

The Officer Basin has been identified as a frontier basin for energy resources. Geoscience Australia is providing new data to improve the geological knowledge of the basin and its geological constraints. Stratigraphy and resource potential studies that analyse existing and newly acquired field samples, have been designed to systematically investigate energy potential.

Due to the limited audience of this diagram and its complexity, no alternative description has been provided. Please email clientservices@ga.gov.au

Map showing the Officer Musgrave region across Western and South Australia (Raymond et al, 2009 and 2018)

Palaeovalley Groundwater Systems

In the Officer-Musgrave Project region, groundwater is the only water supply for communities, pastoral use and industry. Palaeovalley groundwater systems are known to occur and provide valuable groundwater resources. The Musgrave Palaeovalley study seeks to map and model the distribution of palaeovalley systems using new airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data acquired across the region in order to develop and refine the hydrogeological conceptual models of these groundwater systems. This work also involves acquiring additional hydrogeophysical and hydrochemical data, and compiling and interpreting pre-existing geological, geophysical and hydrogeological data, to provide valuable information on water resources for remote communities, water managers and industry.

Due to the limited audience of this diagram and its complexity, no alternative description has been provided. Please email clientservices@ga.gov.au

Map showing Musgrave Palaeovalley study area and existing publically available airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data

Outputs

Data and publications

The Officer Basin, in South Australia and Western Australia, is the focus of a regional stratigraphic study being undertaken as part of the Exploring for the Future program to map and understand Australia’s potential groundwater, mineral and energy resources.

In 2021, Geoscience Australia commissioned reprocessing of legacy 2D seismic data as part of the Exploring for the Future program to improve data quality and better image reflective structural features across the region.