2018 ASEG student awards and state branch prizes WA Student Award Congratulations to Alex Costall (PhD in geophysics, Curtin University, Curtin University) on winning the ASEG WA Student Award for 2018, with the thesis subject“Dynamic Groundwater Flow and Seawater Intrusion in High Quality Coastal Aquifers”. Student Awards are funded by the ASEG Federal Executive and awarded on the recommendation of state branches. Alex’s enthusiasm is evident in his description of the subject as follows. This last year has taken me into the wonderful world of karstic aquifers, numerical groundwater flow – and solute transport – modelling. A“karst”refers to terrain with distinctive structures formed from highly soluble rocks, such as limestone, dolomites, gypsums, etc. Exposure to flowing groundwater causes the rock matrix to dissolve, which can greatly affect the flow of groundwater. Caves, conduits, and fractures all present high-permeability pathways for groundwater to travel. Some of the highest quality coastal groundwater reserves around the world exist as extensive karstic aquifer systems. At coastal margins, the invisible and ever- looming seawater interface threatens fresh groundwater resources. As the changing climate affects groundwater recharge and growing world population continues to rely on these aquifers for drinkable groundwater, the risk of contamination has implications for millions of peoples worldwide. Geophysical exploration methods offer unparalleled access to subsurface information, but it is not without flaws. Resistivity imaging is commonly used, but rarely with time-lapse investigation or optimal acquisition/inversion strategy in mind. Numerical solute transport modelling has potential to aid our understanding, and define the limitations, of both the geophysical and conventional sampling methodology. Outcomes from this research aim to improve groundwater monitoring practices and numerical modelling outcomes with regard to the seawater interface. These outcomes will ultimately aid groundwater management decisions and help to preserve our fresh water resources for future generations. WA Student Technical Night The ASEG WA Branch hosted a Student Technical Night on 28 November. Six undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Curtin University presented their recent work in the field of geophysics. They were: • Mrinal Denis Deane (Curtin) –“Derivation of Seismic Sequence Attributes fromVSP Data as Proxy Lithological Parameters For Harvey,WA” • Jeremie Giraud (UWA) –“Integration of geological uncertainty into geophysical inversion by means of local regularization” • Heta Lampinen (UWA) –“Basement architecture for the polymetallic sediment-hosted Abra (cadabra)” • Alejandro Sanchez (Curtin) –“DHI for gas prospecting and lithology discrimination for the Otway Basin,Victoria” • Evgenii Sidenko (Curtin) –“Application of seismic interferometry to increase 3D VSP illumination” • Sean Standen (UWA) –“Characterising fault scarps in the south of Western Australia based on underlying pre- existing geological weaknesses to improve the current understanding of past and current seismic release.” Attendees were asked to vote on the best presentation, and Alejandro Sanchez Alex Costall Presenters at the ASWG WA Branch Student Technical Night. Left to right: Evgenii Sidenko, Heta Lampinen, Alejandro Sanchez, Sean Standen, Mrinal Denis Deane, and Jeremie Giraud. WA Branch Best Student Presenter 2018, Alejandro Sanchez, with WA Branch President Heather Tompkins. 22 PREVIEW Education matters FEBRUARY 2019