A better look at
Researchers and resource explorers will now have a greater
what lies below
understanding of what lies beneath Australia thanks to a new dataset.
A scientist refers to a map
The Australian Geological Provinces dataset provides a perspective of Australia through geological time. It has been compiled by Geoscience Australia, contains descriptions and extents of Australia’s fundamental geological elements such as sedimentary basins and tectonic provinces, including cratons and orogens, as well as igneous and metallogenic provinces.
The dataset contains information about basins and tectonic provinces ranging in age from the Archean Eon to the present day.
Chief of the Minerals and Natural Hazards Division at Geoscience Australia, Andy Barnicoat, said the full two-dimensional spatial extent of each province had been captured, including the extent of provinces under covering material, as well as the amount of outcrop of many provinces.
“Where possible, the full extent outlines of provinces have been defined along with information about the source, accuracy, and interpretation method used to identify the outlines,” Dr Barnicoat said.
“The dataset also provides details of the age, geological history, rock types, mineral resources and the relationships to other provinces.”
He said every effort had been made to achieve a consensus definition and extent of each province, including significant collaboration with the State and Northern Territory geological surveys, but scientific debate would always occur on the nature and extent of some provinces.
“Although the dataset is not a complete representation yet of all of Australia's geological provinces, it is the most comprehensive national dataset available and further work is under way in conjunction with the State and Northern Territory geological surveys to compile a complete national coverage for all of Australia’s geological provinces,” Dr Barnicoat said.
The dataset is available to be viewed for free at Australian Geological Provinces.
Edition 386, 5 November 2013