A COLLABORATIVE international venture to produce a spherical coordinate modelling framework which takes into consideration the curvature of the Earth will provide scientists and researchers with an improved and more accurate view of the world.
The work will be carried out under research agreements signed in May 2012 between Geoscience Australia, the Colorado School of Mines and the China University of Geosciences.
The three organisations will work over the next 18 months to provide a capability to model gravity and magnetic data in a spherical coordinate framework.
The project coordinator at Geoscience Australia, Richard Lane, said that available modelling tools were limited by the fact they assumed that the Earth was flat, a situation which limits the accuracy of continental and global scale modelling.
Geoscience Australia maintains databases of gravity and magnetic observations for the Australian region and makes these data available to the public through its Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System (GADDS).
Mr Lane said that providing gravity and magnetic models at regional, continental and global scales within a single, consistent, and realistic geometrical framework will play an important role in the on-going effort by Geoscience Australia to add value to these data to better understand the geology of the Australian region to assist mineral and energy exploration in Australia.
"Taking the curvature of the Earth into account is particularly important for Australia which has very large area of interest extending well beyond the continental land surface to embrace Australia's Maritime Jurisdiction. This region extends from just south of the Equator to Antarctica and from near New Zealand almost to South Africa," Mr Lane said.
"To perform realistic, detailed modelling of gravity and magnetic data for such an extensive region, the software will be customised to utilise the capacity of the National Computational Infrastructure high performance computing facility at the Australian National University," he said.
Initial results from the project will be presented at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists 2012 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in November, and at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco in December.
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