Australia creates world's first continental-scale mineral maps

Aug 08, 2012
The world-first suite of mineral maps details the mineral composition of the surface of the continent.​

(Phys.org) -- The world-first maps were generated from a ten-year archive of raw Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) data collected by NASA and the Japanese Government’s Japan Space Systems.

CSIRO scientists have developed software that transformed the data into a continent-wide suite of mineral maps that show information about rock and soil mineral components and provide a Google-like zoom to view images from thousands of kilometres wide to just a few kilometres. They are already changing the way that geoscientists look for mineral deposits by providing more accurate and detailed information than ever before.

The ASTER maps represent a successful collaboration involving scientists from Japan, USA and Australia. Data access and software development has been coordinated by CSIRO through the Western Australian Centre of Excellence for 3D Mapping and involves Geoscience Australia, state and territory Geological Surveys, AuScope, iVEC, NCI, JSS, and the USGS.

The maps were officially launched at a short ceremony featuring CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark and Geoscience Australia CEO, Dr Chris Pigram at the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane last night.

Following the launch, Professor Yasushi Yamaguchi, head of the Japanese ASTER science team said, “Congratulations on your successful launch of the ASTER geoscience maps of Australia. It is a very good example of the ASTER contribution to the geoscience community and I am very proud of being an ASTER science team member”.

Dr Mike Abrams from NASA and head of the US ASTER science team added, “Congratulations on an impressive project. I do like your idea of producing global geoscience maps, similar to what you have created for Australia”.

The Australian ASTER geoscience maps can be obtained from the AuScope Discovery Portal, the Western Australian Centre of Excellence for 3D Mineral Mapping and Geoscience Australia. State and territory coverage can also be acquired from the respective government geological surveys.

Explore further: New signs of eruption at Iceland volcano

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA, Japan Release Improved Topographic Map of Earth

Oct 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA and Japan released a significantly improved version of the most complete digital topographic map of Earth on Monday, produced with detailed measurements from NASA's Terra spacecraft.

NASA's ASTER Instrument Observes Haiti Quake Aftermath

Jan 18, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this simulated natural color image of the Port-au-Prince, Haiti, area, ...

Satellite images: Hook echoes, debris and damage

May 30, 2011

This image shows the radar reflectivity from the National Weather Service Doppler Radar in Birmingham, Ala. at 5:10 p.m. CDT on April 27, 2011, as a supercell thunderstorm moved across the city. The radar ...

Recommended for you

Aging Africa

4 hours ago

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont–Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa ...

NASA animation shows Hurricane Marie winding down

5 hours ago

NOAA's GOES-West satellite keeps a continuous eye on the Eastern Pacific and has been covering Hurricane Marie since birth. NASA's GOES Project uses NOAA data and creates animations and did so to show the end of Hurricane ...

EU project sails off to study Arctic sea ice

10 hours ago

A one-of-a-kind scientific expedition is currently heading to the Arctic, aboard the South Korean icebreaker Araon. This joint initiative of the US and Korea will measure atmospheric, sea ice and ocean properties with technology ...

User comments : 0