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ASEG NSW - talk by Berta Vilacís

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Topic: ASEG NSW - talk by Berta Vilacís

Presenter: Berta Vilacís

Date and time: Sep 21, 2022 06:00 PM




Mantle convection is an essential driving force of plate tectonics. It affects the horizontal and vertical motion of the Earth’s surface. The horizontal motion of the lithosphere is observed in the spreading rates, while its vertical motion leaves an imprint the geological record. In particular, positive surface deflections driven by mantle convection create erosional/non-depositional environments, which induce gaps in the stratigraphic record (i.e., hiatus). Modern digital geological maps allow us to map no-/hiatus surfaces at continental scale systematically and use them as a proxy for mantle flow induced dynamic topography. We find that hiatus surfaces change in timescales of geological series. This is consistent with the presence of a weak upper mantle. Also, we find significant differences in the spatial scale of inter-regional hiatus, on the order of 2000-3000 km in diameter, which can be linked by fluid dynamic analysis to active upper mantle flow regions. Our results highlight the importance of geological datasets to further understand geodynamic processes in the deep Earth. Also, they indicate that studies of horizontal and vertical motion of the lithosphere to track past mantle flow would provide powerful constraints for adjoint based geodynamic inverse models of past mantle convection.


Berta Vilacís is a PhD student in geodynamics at the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München (LMU Munich). She did her bachelor in Physics in the University of Barcelona focusing in applied seismology during her final year. At the same time she got a one-year fellowship in the Catalonia seismic network. After working in maintaining and processing data from the IEC seismic network in 2017, she moved to Munich where she got her MSc in Geophysics by TUM and LMU Munich. In 2019, she started her PhD in Hans-Peter Bunge’s group. Her research focuses in using geological information, such as geological maps, as a way to observe, map and track past mantle convection.



Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Modern Applications of Geophysics: Mineral Case Studies


Date: November 9, 2022

Location: Fraser's Kings Park - Perth

Registration: MAG22 - Modern Applications of Geophysics: Mineral Case Studies Tickets, Wed 09/11/2022 at 8:00 am | Eventbrite

Program: Available here

PESA QLD 2022 Symposium

Friday, September 9, 2022

PESA Queensland are delighted to announce the return of our annual Symposium on Friday, 9th September 2022.

Information and registration:

The PESA QLD Symposium is a full day event focused on bringing together members of the Petroleum exploration and production industry here in Queensland. Local and International specialist speakers are invited to present a series of papers which address the industry activity within the state from a technical, economic and social perspective.

Hear from The Queensland Department of Resources, University of Queensland Centre for Natural Gas, Geoscience Australia, Bridgeport, State Gas, Blue Energy, Comet Ridge and others!

Ice Breaker Event
PESA QLD are hosting an Ice-Breaker networking event on the evening before the Symposium on Thursday the 8th of September.
The venue for this event is the Arbour Bar & Veranda – The Plough Inn, Southbank, only a short walk from the Convention Centre.
This excellent social event kicks off the Symposium proceedings, giving all delegates time to network with their fellow attendees and speakers in a more relaxed setting.
To book tickets for the Ice Break Event click here.

Industry Exhibition
Our exhibition gives the opportunity for local companies to introduce their technologies and interact with clients, and potential clients, face to face. Please see the Sponsorship Package Document for more information about Exhibitor Booths.

Student Poster Session
We are also delighted to offer resource focused Queensland-based students the chance to present and discuss their research with industry representatives.

WA Branch talk: Geomechanical and petrophysical properties of rock salt for energy/gas storage

Thursday, September 29, 2022

WA Branch's upcoming event where Mustafa Sari will talk on Geomechanical and petrophysical properties of rock salt for energy/gas storage.

Title: Geomechanical and petrophysical properties of rock salt for energy/gas storage

Presenter: Mustafa Sari, CSIRO Energy


Date: 29/09/22

Time: 1730 - 2000 AWST

Location: The Shoe Bar and Cafe, 376 - 420 Wellington Street, Perth, WA 6050

About this event:

We evaluate of the suitability of the Frome Rocks salt dome for waste disposal or energy storage in deep boreholes, i.e., depth > 600m in the Canning basin, Western Australia(McNee et al., 2021). This evaluation involves the characterization and testing of the petrophysical, mineralogical, microstructural and geomechanical properties of rock salt samples from two contrasting facies in this formation: a shallower (800m) heterogeneous facies with 40% halite and 38% of dolomite inclusions (mm to cm in size, see figure); and a deeper (1100m) homogeneous, halite-rich facies. The petrophysical testing involves porosity, and gas permeability estimation as a function of effective confining pressure; and the geomechanical testing involves multi-stage triaxial testing at four distinct effective confining pressures (see figure), one of which corresponds to the estimated in-situ effective pressure prevailing at the depth of recovery of each sample (purple curves, see figure). The other stages simulate possible stress perturbation associated with drilling/excavation operations in the native formation.

During each stage of the multi-stage triaxial test, additional gas permeability tests are conducted under hydrostatic and deviatoric stress conditions; and creep tests are conducted under deviatoric stress corresponding to 75% of the yield stress at that depth. The laboratory data show that the homogeneous (heterogeneous) salt facies exhibit a porosity in the range 0.8-1.1% (0.2-0.3%), and a gas permeability in the range 50-500 mD (1-20 mD) in the confining pressure interval 0-16 MPa. Subsequent triaxial testing of the samples lasted about 80 days for each facies sample, essentially due to the time-consuming nature of the multiple gas permeability and creep tests conducted during each test.


Sub 22 Conference

Monday, November 28, 2022

Sub 22 Conference at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide, November 28th-30th

The symposium will deliver a diverse program of workshops, presentations, panel discussions, informal roundtables and networking opportunities, providing attendees with the chance to contribute and gain interdisciplinary insights into a wide range of scientific concepts, among them:

•   Extracting additional information from data so that complex models of subsurface processes can be better constrained.
•   Obtaining information about the processes governing the formation, evolution and properties of resources of all types.
•   Objectively accounting for petrophysical information in the inversion of geophysical data.

Register at

South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference

Friday, December 2, 2022

South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference on the Friday the 2nd of December at the Adelaide Convention Centre

SAEMC is an annual collaborative event that brings together both the exploration and mining industries in South Australia.

Now in its 19th year, it is an opportunity for active mineral explorers and miners to present succinct technical updates of their activities on their flagship South Australian mines and exploration projects.

Register at

GSSA Discovery Day

Thursday, December 1, 2022

GSSA Discovery Day on the 1st of December at the Adelaide Convention Centre

Discovery Day is the best way to engage with the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) and our collaborative partners as we deliver new data and insights into the regional geology of South Australia.

The day will summarise some of the big projects the GSSA have been working on over the last year, along with some new research being undertaken with collaborating organisations including MinEx CRC, University of Adelaide, CSIRO and Geoscience Australia.

Registration is free at

A predictive anisotropic rock physics model of shale and its practical applications

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Title: A predictive anisotropic rock physics model of shale and its practical applications

Presenter: Dr. Michinori Asaka

Date: Thursday, 6th October 2022

Time: 1400 - 1530 AWST



Elastic response of rocks often depends on the rock’s orientation, i.e., most rocks are anisotropic. In particular, shales which are the overburden rock in most of conventional oil and gas fields, often show strong elastic anisotropy due to alignment and platy nature of its constituent mineral. Various anisotropic rock physics models have been proposed to predict the elastic anisotropy of shales, however, practical applications are limited and most of rock physics models in the past do not follow the observed internal structure of shales and bound water properties suggested by existing studies. A predictive rock physics model of shale is developed by combining existing theories. Properties of locally aligned clay platelets, called domains, are calculated using a model based on the anisotropic Hashin-Shtrikman estimates. The effect of domain orientation is then accounted for by the orientation distribution function of domains. This model is consistent with the observed internal structure of shales and allows the finite shear stiffness of bound water to be taken into account. The applicability of the model was investigated using existing core measurements. The results imply that the model can be used to predict anisotropy parameters from limited information. 


Michinori Asaka started his career as a geophysicist with INPEX in 2009. He worked for various geophysical problems including AVO analysis/inversion, rock physics, 4D seismic feasibility study, structural interpretation, and depth conversion. In 2018, he joined the PhD programme in Geophysics at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. He completed his thesis focusing on practical applications of elastic anisotropy in rock physics, rock mechanics and seismic reservoir characterization in 2022. He is currently working for INPEX where he continues working on reservoir characterization. 

Industry Q&A Panel: Machine Learning, Carbon Capture & Future Energies

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Industry Q&A Panel: Machine Learning, Carbon Capture & Future Energies



Date & Time

Thursday 18th August 2022
5.30 pm for a 6 pm start


Pig and Whistle, South Brisbane (whole indoor dining section)

Event – Industry Q&A Panel: Machine Learning, Carbon Capture & Future Energies

The AIG, ASEG, GSA and PESA are pleased to welcome students and industry at all career stages to our 2022 Industry Q&A Panel.

Come learn about several exciting and evolving career paths in geoscience: machine learning and its extensive application in industry; carbon capture storage and its potential impacts; what is the “energy transition”? What role do geoscientists play within it?







Presentation “With one arm tied behind your back – Doing geology by proxy in a faraway place (Mars)” by Prof Juergen Schieber

Friday, August 19, 2022

About this event

PESA, GSA SA Division, ASEG and SPE SA Division Science Talk: “With one arm tied behind your back – Doing geology by proxy in a faraway place (Mars)” by Prof. Juergen Schieber (Indiana University).

Friday 19th August 2022 (arrive at 5:15 pm for a 5:30 pm start).

PESA, the GSA SA Division and SPE SA Division would like to invite members and guests to a jointly organised science seminar by Prof. Juergen Schieber (Indiana University), titled “With one arm tied behind your back – Doing geology by proxy in a faraway place (Mars)”.

Location: Mawson Lecture Theatre, The University of Adelaide and online via Zoom.
Date/Time: Friday 19th August 2022. Please arrive at 5:15 pm (5:30 pm to 7: 30 pm).
Cost: $15 per person



Doing geology on other planets, such as Mars, requires for the time being the use of remote controlled rovers. The Curiosity rover on Mars is a rather sophisticated (and expensive) piece of machinery, but geological investigations by rover are labor intensive and slow when compared how we would do comparable tasks on Earth. Although the rover allows us to “see” and “analyze”, critical facets of a geologists traditional “sensory repertoire” are not available (poking around, feel, sound, breaking stuff, smelling and licking). To make up for these deficiencies a large group of highly trained professionals do their level best to analyze the available data and try to arrive at sensible interpretations of what we see. Science by committee, however, has unique risks and “consensus” assessments can still be off-target. Thus, to have more than one well-reasoned interpretation for a single site is not uncommon. Nonetheless, the limitations of this brand of geologic exploration do not hinder progress, and at times they can give us unthought-of new perspectives on things that have become so routine on Earth that we take them for granted (even though we should not). How a limited set of observations can be used to deduce basic modes of sedimentation, diagenesis, and stratal organization in Martian mudstone successions serves as an example on how one could for example do “petrography” without the benefit of a thin section and still make substantial progress. In rover geology you either push your limits or you suffocate in your comfort zone. There is no try.


Prof. Juergen Schieber (Indiana University)

Prof. Schieber is a professor of geology at Indiana University and a specialist on shales. Published extensively (190 papers, 20 guidebook chapters, 4 books, 354 conference abstracts) he is also an invited lecturer at universities in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia; at research organizations, industry short courses, and symposia. He is the 2022 Sorby Medalist of IAS and a member of the science team that currently explores the geology of Gale Crater on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover.

His research is characterized by a holistic approach to shales, and consists of an integration of field studies (facies, stratigraphy) and lab studies (thin sections, electron microscopy, and geochemistry) in order to understand the various factors that are involved in the formation of shales. A key focus point is the experimental study of shale sedimentology via flume studies and related experimental work. Funding for this research is provided by government agencies (NSF, DOE, NASA), foundations (Petroleum Research Fund), and industry via the Indiana University Shale Research Consortium (ExxonMobil, Anadarko, Marathon, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Wintershall, Whiting, Equinor, Petrochina) and separate research agreements (Schlumberger/TerraTek; Pioneer Natural Resources). He consults on matters pertaining to shale sedimentology, shale fabric and pore structure, and also teaches short courses on shale sedimentology and facies analysis, as well as microscope-based petrography.

His research interests include: Basin Analysis and Sedimentology, Sedimentology, Diagenesis, and Pore Systems of Shales, the Genesis of Black Shales and Sediment hosted Mineral Deposits, Evolution of the Belt Basin and the Devonian basins of the eastern US, Geochemistry of Sediments, Planetary Geology and sedimentary geology of Mars.

When: Friday 19th August 2022. Please arrive at 5:15 pm (5:30 pm to 7: 30 pm).

Where: Mawson Lecture Theatre, The University of Adelaide and online via Zoom.

Zoom link: Details will be emailed to members prior to the meeting.

Cost: $15 per person

Please join us afterward in the Sprigg Room (top level of the Mawson Building, The University of Adelaide) for further discussions, drinks and nibbles (until 7:30 pm).

Please note that this event will be COVID-19 dependant. All COVID-19 precautionary measures will be in place, with all government restrictions adhered to. Please see the South Australian Government COVID-19 website for the most up to date information.