Projects

Completed 2024 Layered Geology Mapping

Solid geology map for the pre-Neoproterozoic chronostratigraphic layer for the North Australian Craton (Stewart et al., 2020), overlain on the total magnetic intensity grid (greyscale first vertical derivative) of Australia (Poudjom Djomani and Minty, 2019). Black dashed line shows the outline of the North Australian Craton

Compiling a layered seamless subsurface (solid geology) map of Australia for the geological eras: Cenozoic, Mesozoic, Paleozoic, Neoproterozoic and pre-Neoproterozoic. 

Our understanding of the geological history and resource potential of Australia has been underpinned by over half a century of surface geological mapping. A synthesis of this national geological mapping is represented in the seamless 1:1 000 000 scale Surface Geology of Australia data package 2012. This map shows that approximately 80% of the crystalline basement geology of Australia is covered by a veneer of sediment and regolith (weathered materials). Now the challenge is to continue to unravel the geology, geological history and the resource potential of Australia beneath this cover by mapping the subsurface (solid geology). 

In 2015, Geoscience Australia commenced a major program of layered geology mapping of the continent, focused on compiling geological data for 5 key chronostratigraphic surfaces: Cenozoic, Mesozoic, Paleozoic, Neoproterozoic and pre-Neoproterozoic. 

As part of the Exploring for the Future Australia’s Resources Framework project, Geoscience Australia produced, for the first time, national-scale seamless chronostratigraphic layered geology maps. These new national maps enable a much-improved understanding of the geological history and resource potential of Australia and will inform better decision making to support government, industry and community. 

What we did  

Since 2015, Geoscience Australia has undertaken systematic seamless layered geology mapping of the continent. These maps were compiled from a range of available surface and solid geology compilations at scales 1:250 000, 1:500 000 and 1:2 500 000.  Magnetic intensity and gravity images, drilling logs, reflection seismic profiles and airborne electromagnetic soundings are used to homogenise and standardise the maps for optimal use at scale 1:1 000 000. Working with the state and territory governments, we have resolved discrepancies in geological interpretation between state and territory geological survey datasets. 

Solid Geology of the North Australian Craton was published in 2020 as part of the Exploring for the Future program and can be viewed via Geoscience Australia’s Data Discovery Portal

An update to the North Australian Craton East Tennant region as part of the Exploring for the Future Tennant Creek-Mount Isa project was published in 2021 and has been incorporated in the national product. 

Outputs

Collaboration

This work was led by Geoscience Australia in close collaboration with state and territory Geological Surveys by building on their outcrop and solid geology mapping work and expertise. We thank all state and territory Geological Surveys for their reviews, input and feedback.