The people, science and technology behind discovery

Subscribe to the Magazine

Get new articles sent directly to
your mailbox.

Join the network

Twitter Updates Group Forum

Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.

News & Views

News Archive

December 7, 2016

Geosoft introduces IP and resistivity inversion in VOXI Earth Modelling

Geosoft has added induced polarization and resistivity data inversion to its VOXI Earth Modelling 3D inversion software service. Geoscientists are now able to create detailed 3D models of conductivity and chargeability from IP and resistivity survey data with VOXI. The resulting models can assist in interpreting and targeting regions for mineral and environmental applications...

December 5, 2016

Mexico's Deepwater Round Exceeds Expectations

Some of the world's biggest oil companies showed up Dec. 5 and agreed to invest on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, proving that deepwater exploration still has a pulse despite challenging market conditions...

November 30, 2016

Magnetic inversion results for Ngamiland available for download

A regional-scale geophysical inversion of magnetic field data in the Ngamiland region of northwestern Botswana is now available for download from the Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, industry sponsors and Geosoft...

November 30, 2016

LIGO Resumes Search for Gravitational Waves

After a series of upgrades, the twin detectors of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, have turned back on and resumed their search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. LIGO transitioned from their engineering test runs to full science observations at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 30...

November 9, 2016

International Volcano Scientists Unite

For the first time, the United States will host the international Volcano Observatory Best Practices workshop, previously held only in Italy. The workshop will take place this month in Vancouver, Washington. It is designed specifically for volcano observatories around the world and their staff to exchange ideas and best practices with each other...

October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

USGS has completed a comprehensive assessment and inventory of potential mineral resources covering approximately 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming...

October 3, 2016

Uganda Targets Up to U.S.$100 Million for Mineral Exploration

Uganda is well endowed with mineral resources and, like many naturally-gifted African countries, is becoming keen on ensuring that these resources play a transformative role in its long-term structural transformation dream - the Vision 2040...

September 9, 2016

Small-Scale Fishers Get A Big Boost With First-Of-Its Kind Impact Investment Fund

Conservation organization Rare announces the Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries at Our Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility, one of the largest funders of conservation worldwide, will be investing $6 million into the fund...

September 1, 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa have detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region...

August 17, 2016

New IGS Xplore prospectivity maps for Botswana

International Geoscience Services have released a series of base metal prospectivity maps for the Ngamiland District of northwestern Botswana using free geodata available on the recently-launched Botswana Geoscience Portal, hosted by Geosoft. The maps identify favorable areas for copper, zinc and lead mineralization using geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets downloaded directly from the portal.

August 11, 2016

NexGen Makes New High Grade Discovery

NexGen Energy reported the discovery of a new high grade zone of mineralization 4.7 km northeast of the Arrow Deposit as part of an on-going summer drilling program on its 100% owned, Rook I property, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

August 10, 2016

Rampion UXO Disposal to Take Place This Week

E.ON has confirmed that the two unexploded devices, detected along the Rampion offshore cable route will be safely disposed this week following the consultation with the Marine Management Organisation...

August 9, 2016

Diamonds In The Rough: E&Ps Find New Reserves In Mature Basins

The oil industry’s history demonstrates clearly that new plays and prospects have long been found in mature basins that were thought to be well on the way to being squeezed dry. Through the acquisition of new data, developing new concepts and coming up with fresh interpretations, long-producing basins around the world from the North Sea to Malaysia have continued to reveal new riches...

August 8, 2016

Northern Shield Identifies High Quality VTEM Targets at Séquoi

Northern Shield Resources announced the results of the interpretation and modelling of the VTEM survey from the Séquoi Property in the Labrador Trough of Quebec . Séquoi is owned 100% by Northern Shield and is being explored for Noril'sk style Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. After geophysical modelling and interpretation of the VTEM data from Séquoi, six VTEM anomalies of significant interest have been identified...

August 3, 2016

Rio Tinto tailors big data drive to copper

Rio Tinto will put the weight of an exploration big data push and its newly-formed Growth and Innovation group behind its desire to identify a "tier 1" copper asset. Speaking at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said Australia was "overdue for a tier 1" mineral discovery of any type...

August 1, 2016

Tetra Tech Awarded $200 Million Navy CLEAN Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $200 million, single-award contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic. Through the Comprehensive Long-term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental engineering support services to installations within the NAVFAC Atlantic Area of Responsibility...

May 3, 2016

NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS), MODUM Partners announce "Young Scientist Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons"

This international project cooperates closely with CHEMSEA (Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons) Project for and sharing and knowledge transfer...

April 12, 2016

Monday mad rush for gold stocks

Renewed optimism about the outlook for gold saw investors pile back into gold stocks, pushing many stock to 52-week highs in heavy volumes...

April 11, 2016

Medgold Resources: Continues to Expand the Boticas Gold Project, Portugal; Proposes $200,000 Private Placement

Medgold Resources is pleased to announce new assay results from contiguous rock-chip sampling from the Limarinho South zone at its Boticas gold project in Portugal, which include a highlight of 6.0m @ 5.7 g/t Au...

April 8, 2016

De-carbonizing our energy sector

Nuclear energy currently provides around 11 percent of the world's electricity. China, the European Union, the United States, India, Russia, South Korea, and other nations’ have major existing fleets...

April 1, 2016

Follow-Up Drilling Results Indicate Wide Gold Zones at Hendricks Gold Discovery

Gascoyne Resources Limited announced that it has received the final assay results from the 10,000 metre aircore exploration drilling programme...

March 26, 2016

The Oil Market Is Finally Hitting Its Breaking Point

After a significant reduction in investments over the past two years, oil companies can no longer overcome the production declines from legacy wells...

March 15, 2016

N-Sea Expands into the French Offshore Wind Industry

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has signed a letter of intent with CERES Recherches & Expertise Sous-Marine and TechSub Industrie Environement, to provide subsea survey, installation and remediation services to the French offshore wind industry...

March 9, 2016

PDAC 2016 Convention Exceeds 22,000 Attendees

Optimism and opportunity abounded at the PDAC 2016 Convention of The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in spite of recent industry challenges...

March 3, 2016

6 Alpha Launches EOD Contracting Division

6 Alpha Associates, a specialist risk consultancy practice, with expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance, has launched a dedicated explosive ordnance disposal division...

QDEX Data: The new face of Queensland surveys

by Dan Zlotnikov on July 17, 2014 applied

[Click to enlarge]

The Geological Survey of Queensland's new online system QDEX Data contains both government and private company survey results, such as the Avon Downs airborne geophysics survey, available as both images and data.

The Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) has unveiled QDEX Data, a project that has been two years in the making. The new online system, based on Geosoft DAP Server technology, allows individuals and companies to access Queensland’s survey data seamlessly, quickly, and free of charge, says the Survey’s Geoscience Manager Mark Thornton.

Under the old distribution method, none of the GSQ’s datasets were available for download. They had to be manually packaged to media and then posted out to people, a service for which the GSQ charged a fee.

The old process was slow and laborious explains Thornton: “The data had to be found, cleaned up or prepped, and shipped off,” he says. “Then payment had to be arranged, and so on.”

QDEX Data replaces the manual approach with an à la carte solution: Users are able to log onto the site, locate the datasets they require, and download them at no cost.

More datasets are constantly being added to the system. Meanwhile, explorers will see immediate advantage in the website’s data catalogue. Whereas previously they had to contact the GSQ to find out whether certain data were available, now they can look through an online catalogue and place their orders using the shopping cart.

The cataloguing initiative speeds up the rate at which the GSQ is able to process requests and also helps with future requests. “Up to now, we’ve had all this uncatalogued data,” says Thornton. “To find it, you had to wade through folders and directory structures.” With the new procedure, the client receives the data it requests and that same data is then entered into the online database, making it available for future reference.

There’s a tremendous amount of data. Decades of surveys – many of them conducted before modern standards existed – will take time to prepare and package for download.

“The bulk of our data is seismic, and I think there are only two seismic surveys in QDEX Data right now. It'll take a while before we get them all done,” Thornton says.

“We've been going through the data for some time now,” notes Thornton. “There are 1,100 seismic surveys that don't have a spatial location in our online geographic information system. That means a lot of data has to be opened up and the relevant information extracted.”

What’s more, many of the older surveys were only partly digitized. In parallel with the QDEX Data roll-out, the GSQ has hired subcontractors to scan older survey data, in particular ancillary data that exists only on paper.

In the case of surveys that don’t have SEG-Y data, the GSQ is scanning the old seismic profiles to a resolution that allows them to be translated into SEG-Y data. “So we're adding value as we package the seismic data,” explains Thornton.

Using QDEX Data, explorers are able to overlay multiple survey results on the map. Seen here are a number of potassium radiometric grids overlaying a first vertical derivative grid of the Mount Isa area of Queensland. The built-in GeoTiff tool allows explorers to easily save desired map layouts.

In addition to the geophysical datasets, the system will contain a wide range of other data, including seismic surveys, wireline logs, geochemistry data, even gravity gradiometry surveys. This variety of data and file types is one of the reasons the GSQ opted for Data Access Protocol (DAP) Server technology.

“We needed the ability to search for and download any type of file,” says Thornton. “There are a lot of packages that are only for geophysics or only for something else, but DAP allows us to package and deliver virtually anything, even a large PDF publication if necessary.”

The versatility is intentional. Henry Wang, Geosoft’s Senior Solutions Architect, notes that Geosoft DAP Server was designed and developed with government organizations, such as GSQ, in mind. “The capabilities of DAP Server, for searching, viewing and extracting geoscience data over the internet,  are well suited to government agencies with a mandate to provide geoscience data to the public.”

As part of the implementation, file size is a key challenge that needed to be addressed. To make download times manageable, the packages are being split up into chunks of around 1 GB each, for a download time of roughly one hour via an ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) connection, or about six minutes by cable modem.

“The geochemistry database, for example, is now split into five sub-sets that correspond to five regions in Queensland,” Thornton notes, “and they're all about 1 GB each, as opposed to 5 GB for the whole state.”

Where the package is too large for online delivery, customers can still order pre-packaged data for offline delivery. Online data downloads will be free while offline packages will incur a fee for postage, packaging and handling.

So what will the new system look like? Thornton explains that the QDEX Data system is being released with a Flamingo web interface. That said, users of Oasis montaj,  ArcMap or MapInfo will be able to access datasets directly from their software packages using the Seeker plug-in.

Looking to the future, Thornton says there are other portal technologies being developed in Australia, and these will also be able to interface with the server.

“The benefit is that we have fairly open technology behind the system, while also having off-the-shelf products from Geosoft that are already in use worldwide. Geophysicists and geologists who are familiar with DAP or Seeker can easily access the Queensland survey data while working within their applications.”

“This provides a ready introduction to an audience who would otherwise have been manually requesting data from us in the past,” he adds.

Explorers can access QDEX datasets directly from Oasis montaj, ArcMap or MapInfo using the Seeker plug-in. Watch the Seeker video >

There is also a larger, country-wide context to consider. The federal agency Geoscience Australia has the Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System (GADDS), which contains copies of the state-level surveys, but GADDS is becoming dated and may soon be phased out completely.

As more public data moves to portals, like the Queensland one, the industry could potentially have online access to geophysics anywhere in Australia.  The ability to view data for the entire country online (rather than hunting for data in separate databases) will be a major benefit to explorers, especially those who work along the border between multiple states.

While country-wide, seamless integration is still a ways off, the QDEX Data service is now live and explorers and mining professionals can judge the advantages for themselves.

View all articles »