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The challenge

Turning big data into knowledge

Today we are able to collect far more data and evidence than in the past. Advances in our understanding and technology have resulted in a raft of powerful sensors and other observation tools that provide a wealth of data for processing and analysis.

Processing this wealth of data requires high-powered computing. Apart from the sheer volume of data, this is complicated by different systems collecting data in different formats and file types. Data collected in one place by one organisation may not be able to be read by another system somewhere else. This is an 'interoperability' issue and means a lot of research time is taken up just processing the data.

We have more in-depth data on Australia's geology than ever before. Turning this data into useful information is a challenge that our scientists are working on to help solve big picture problems facing the mining and exploration industry.

Our response

Big data solutions for geologists

We enable digital collaboration of geoscience data to maximise Australia's advantages of vast online data holdings.

This is achieved through AuScope's support and infrastructure, new machine learning approaches to data, advanced computer codes, and access to supercomputing facilities.

Modelling tools help geologists visualise large datasets.

We're linking numerous data systems through interoperable networks to assist geologists in mineral exploration.

Increasingly sophisticated computer processors, algorithms and data integration linked through to web-based technology is making this possible.

Our work through the AuScope national earth science infrastructure program delivered the AuScope Grid, a service-oriented spatial data and computational services network that supports earth science researchers across Australia.

The network is making better use of massive amounts of geoscience data collected in Australia because it can be freely accessed regardless of which system has been used to collect, store and transmit it.

Some of our developments include:

  • high resolution geophysics inversions of magnetic, gravity, airborne electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data
  • modelling the potential impacts of natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and storm surges
  • geodetic measurements of the surface deformation of Australia
  • geothermal modelling of heat flow around buried granite
  • earth observation methods that document changes in land cover.

In addition, we're helping scientists tackle integrated, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency issues such as water security, sustainable development of mineral and energy resources, environmental sustainability and emergency management.

Geoscience data infrastructure case study

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