In the future, Australia’s minerals, energy and water resources will come from far greater depths in the earth and from deep offshore plays. Right now, we’re developing deep earth imaging technology that will allow us to accurately map and discover these buried resources.
Our deeply buried resources remain hidden
For over 120 years, we have successfully mapped and analysed Australia’s land surface.
Our resources-rich continent has yielded most of its wealth from an area comprising only about 20 per cent of the continent’s exposed or near-exposed crust.
It’s believed that the remaining 80 per cent of the continent could be just as well-endowed.
The problem is that these resources are concealed by a thick and complex cover of sediments and weathered material called regolith.
This vast, relatively under-explored area, is an enormous opportunity to discover deeply buried resources including minerals, energy and water.
Developing an imaging toolkit to accurately map subsurface resources
We’re developing deep earth imaging technology to allow geologists to create precise images of subsurface rock properties, as if the regolith material is transparent.
We’re doing this by, simulating geological models and properties in conjunction with smart analytics and algorithms to interpret very subtle patterns from the earth.
We are developing new analytical software tools that are founded in rock physics, but that also draw from predictive technology, machine learning, geological uncertainty analysis and geoscience modelling.
The tools will manage real-time data streams and fuse multiple inputs from geology, hydro-geochemistry and geophysics.
Our work taps into multiple domains: geophysical modelling and simulation, geological/geophysical/geochemical integration, and geological uncertainty reduction.
When developed, our toolkit to better navigate through the subsurface will add significant value to the wealth of geological and geophysical data that already exist, allowing it to be meaningfully interpreted.
By linking imaging methods to rock physics, and by discovering, understanding and modelling relations to other geological data, we will reduce the uncertainty associated with exploration through cover.
For industry, this means that further drilling and collection of geophysical data will be more efficient and less risky.
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