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26 - 30 June 2016 - Adelaide Convention Centre

Field Trips and Workshops

Your opportunity to be out, standing in the field or indoors at a workshop during the 2016 AESC!

AESC 2016 Adelaide provides a great opportunity to showcase some of the local geology and bring together delegates for specialized workshops, within the convention’s fieldtrip and workshop program. Planning for these is well underway and already we are developing what looks to be an exciting program.

AESC Fieldtrips

Given the recent trends away from the cost and time commitments of longer fieldtrips, an array of one day to several day long fieldtrips have been proposed to showcase the diversity of South Australian geology. From a brief walk down North Terrace to view the building stones of some of Adelaide’s iconic buildings, an early morning trip to the seaside, day tours through some of SA’s famous wine regions to multi-day trips to the Flinders Ranges and Gawler Ranges, there’s something for everyone. 

All field trips will depart and return from the Bus zone on North Terrace, in front of the Adelaide Convention Centre. Places on fieldtrips will be strictly limited. All field trips are subject to minimum numbers to run, some have a specified cut-off date, if minimum numbers are not reached by the 15th April 2016, the field trip will be cancelled.

Field trips and Workshops

If you have registered for the AESC 2016 Conference but not yet registered for a Field Trip and would like to add one to your registration, this is still possible. Please confirm in writing, the field trip you would like to add, by emailing The team at All Occasions Group will add the field trip to your registration and send through a confirmation and invoice for payment.

Please note: some field trips have minimum number requirements. Should you have any questions regarding the Field Trip registrations, please contact

Pre-conference field trips


  • Terroir of the Adelaide Hills Wine region

This trip will travel to four wineries in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region to study aspects of the terroir of the various vineyards. We will be talking to the winemakers at each location to discuss the important contributors to terroir: geology, regolith, soil, altitude and microclimate, sun aspect, vine selection, trellising and pruning practices, picking parameters (baumé, acidity), picking technique and oenological practices.

The purpose of the tour is:

  • To critically examine and discuss the terroir of several Adelaide Hills vineyards
  • To appreciate some of the variations of terroir within a single wine region
  • To taste and appreciate the fine wines produced at each location
  • If desired, to purchase some fine wines.


  • Date – Sunday 26th June, 2016
  • Duration – 1 day
  • Cost – $110 (lunch at winery not included in price)
  • Leader – Tom Mayer (Consultant Geologist)

  • Delamerian granites in the Adelaide Hills and NW Murraylands 

The Cambro-Ordovician Delamerian-Ross Orogen produced extensive contractional deformation in the Adelaide Fold Belt of South Australia, as well as Antartica, western Victoria and Tasmania and marks the earliest stage in the development of the Tasman Orogen. In the southern Mount Lofty Ranges ~ 50 km E of Adelaide, where early Cambrian sediments of the Kanmantoo Group experienced compressional deformation and low P high T metamorphism accompanied by syn- and post-tectonic magmatism. This excursion will visit examples of syntectonic I- and S-type granites and granite gneisses and basement migmatites as well as post-tectonic S- and A-type granites and mafic intrusions.

  • Date – Sunday 26th June, 2016
  • Duration – 1 day
  • Cost – $130 (all inclusive)
  • Leaders – John Foden (University of Adelaide) and Stacey McAvaney (Geological Survey of South Australia)


  • IOCGs – Where it all began. The Moonta-Wallaroo region of the eastern Gawler Craton

The Olympic IOCG domain of the eastern Gawler Craton hosts the World’s the greatest abundance of IOCG mineralisation. From discovery in 1860 the first deposits mined were within the Wallaroo-Moonta Cu-Au field, which for a time was the highest copper producer in the British Commonwealth, perhaps even the World (approximately 10mt ore @ 3.5% Cu & 0.5g/t Au). Although not large by today’s standard the Wallaroo-Moonta region was the springboard from which WMC (Western Mining Corporation) launched its exploration northward to discover the famous Olympic Dam deposit below the 350m of Neoproterozoic cover of the Stuart Shelf in 1975. The rocks of Yorke Peninsula display the majority of features expected of an IOCG mineral system, such as early Mesoproterozoic timing, deeply penetrating shearing, extensive A&I-type felsic magmatism (Hiltaba Suite), widespread intense magnetite associated alkaline and calcsilicate alteration, brecciation, as well as a variety of iron oxide related Cu-Au mineralisation styles, including the skarn-related Rex Minerals Hillside deposit, that is currently awaiting mining.

The Hillside Project is the first of many fascinating sites intended to provide an understanding of the economic geology of this the southern part of the Olympic IOCG Domain; included also are coastal outcrops, which provide the most extensive field exposures of that Domain as well as cover relationships. Additionally visits will be made to historic mine sites, and also to view the hosting Palaeoproterozoic Wallaroo Group that is considered to have been a crucial component of the mineralising system.

  • Dates – Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th June 2016
  • Duration – 2 days
  • Cost – $530 (all inclusive)
  • Leader – Colin Conor (Consultant Geologist)
  • Trip will be cancelled if minimum numbers not reached by the 15th April 2016


  • Physical volcanology of the Mesoproterozoic Gawler Range Volcanics silicic large igneous province

The Gawler Range Volcanics are the volcanic part of the Mesoproterozoic Gawler silicic large igneous province, and are very well exposed in the northern Eyre Peninsula. We will complete a north-south traverse through the Gawler Range Volcanics, examining the best exposures of diverse lavas and pyroclastic facies in the lower GRV, and two of the three gigantic felsic lavas (each >500 km3) in the upper GRV. We will also examine outcrops of the Hiltaba Suite granites which form the intrusive part of the Gawler SLIP. We will travel in 4wd vehicles and enjoy a fully catered camp each night under the stars. Most outcrops are within easy walking distance from tracks, and we will complete one or two 2-3 km-long walking traverses along ridges and creeks.

  • Dates – Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th June 2016
  • Duration – 5 day Pre-conference field trip
  • Cost – $1200 (all inclusive)
  • Leaders – Jocelyn McPhie (University of Tasmania, McPhie Consulting)
  • Trip will be cancelled if minimum numbers not reached by the 15th April 2016

Mid-conference field trips


  • Hallett Cove Geological Wake-Up Call. 

Visit Hallett Cove Conservation Park, situated along the coastline of Adelaide’s southern suburbs, and enjoy the sunrise on an early morning walk along the 2 km long Hallet Cove Geological Trail. This geological monument preserves Neoproterozoic marine and coastal sediments of the Adelaide Geosyncline folded during the Cambro-Ordovician Delamerian Orogeny, as well as evidence of glaciation during the Permian Period, including striated glacial pavements at Black Cliff, glacial lacustrine sediments at the Sugarloaf and erratics transported from southern Fleurieu Peninsula.

  • Date – Tuesday 28th June 2016, 6am depature
  • Duration – 3 hours
  • Cost – $60 (includes breakfast snack)
  • Leaders –Carmen Krapf and Stacey McAvaney (Geological Survey of South Australia)


  • North Terrace Building Stones. 

Following the recent release of the self-guided geological tour brochure (, this fieldtrip provides a great insight into a range of geology from around the world, right on the doorstep of the convention venue. 
North Terrace, Adelaide Guide Tour - Geological Trail <click here>

  • Dates – 27th and 29th June 2016, During lunch break
  • Duration – 90 minutes
  • Cost – Free
  • Leader – Barry Cooper (University of South Australia)

    Post-conference field trips


    • Clare Valley Rocks - the earth beneath our vines

    Discover the geology, wineries, scenery, breweries, gourmet foods and the gout de terroir of the Clare Valley.

    Home of the finest Australian and International Rieslings, as well as mighty fine reds, boutique beers and an innovative earth science interpretative program called Clare Valley Rocks [CVR] - see - the Clare Valley holds a unique position in the Australian Wine Industry.

    • Date – Friday 1st July 2016
    • Duration – 1 day
    • Cost – $110 (lunch at winery not included in price)
    • Leader – Mario Werner (Geological Survey of South Australia) and Mick Roche (Stewardship Matters)


    • The Cenozoic Willunga Basin: from Australo-Antarctic Gulf to Sprigg Orogeny, from vines and wines to shining sea

    The excursion begins with the great unconformity on the northern margin, Eocene over Cryogenian, and ends at the southern end in the deformations of the late Neogene Sprigg Orogeny. It will be punctuated by the wining and lunching for which the McLaren Vale district is well known. We will walk the coastal section illustrating: (1) the onset of tectonic modernity, in which the Australo-Antarctic Gulf was subsumed in the Southern Ocean; (2) the steps in the Eocene-Oligocene transition to environmental modernity, that is, the critical interval in the greenhouse-icehouse transition; and (3) stratigraphic parallels in sequence stratigraphy and profound environmental shifts between a neritic section at ~60°S and the global ocean.

    The Willunga field guide (RB 2016/00008) is in SARIG (15mb) <click here>


    • Date – Saturday 2nd July 2016
    • Duration – 1 day
    • Cost – $140 (lunch at winery not included in price)
    • Leaders – Brian McGowran (University of Adelaide) and Jeff Oliver (Consultant Geologist)


    • Quarries and extractive minerals of the Adelaide region

    The Mt Lofty Ranges, extending from Victor Harbor in the south to The Barossa Valley in the north, has been the source area for both hardrock and sand construction materials for the greater metropolitan Adelaide region.  Cambrian & Neoproterozoic Age rock units quarried include metasedimentary Dolomites, Dolomitic Siltstones, Quartzites, Sandstones, Arkoses and Marbles; each having individual characteristics appropriate to the variety of demands for concrete, asphalt, rail ballast, roadbase etc required for the construction industry.  Relic Tertiary sand deposits uplifted with the basement rocks of the ranges have been worked for construction sand materials.  The Riverview, Para Hills, Kapunda and Penrice Quarries and the Kalbeeba Sand Pit give a perspective of the source rock types as well as displaying some of the geological structure and features of the region. 

    • Date – Friday 1st July 2016
    • Duration – 1 day
    • Cost – $130 (all inclusive)
    • Leader – Gus Harvey (Geological Survey of South Australia

    • Olympic Dam on site core display (cancelled)

    The Mesoproterozoic Olympic Dam deposit is Earth's largest known iron oxide copper-gold deposit. This trip will visit the Olympic Dam surface geological operations, and through a combination of lectures and inspections of the vast on-site core library, the current understanding of the geology and genesis of the deposit will be discussed. Major features to examine will be the different types of breccia and hydrothermal features, the recent recognition of larger proportions of altered mafic intrusive rocks in the breccias, and the nature of clastic sediment domains. Participants will also have an opportunity to examine details of other prospects in the area, including Wirrda Well and Acropolis. All trip participants will be guests of BHP-Billiton and will need to abide by the occupational health and safety requirements of the operation while on site.

    • Date – Friday 1st July 2016
    • Duration – 1 day
    • Cost – $550 (includes lunch, flights and transfers at OD. Transfers to/from Adelaide Airport not included)
    • Leader – Kathy Ehrig (BHP Billiton)
    • Attendee Maximum: 30
    • Trip will be cancelled if minimum numbers not reached by the 15th April 2016


  • Rifts, Reverse Faults and Regolith: Neoproterozoic to Cenozoic geology in the mid-north  of South Australia
    The rolling hills, wheat paddocks and vineyards of the Mid-North region of South Australia conceal a geological transition between the Adelaide Hills and the Flinders Ranges.  The landscape is subtly controlled by the Neoproterozoic bedrock geology, Delamerian deformational structures, neotectonics and regolith development. Rifting at ~800 Ma produced regional north-south trending graben structures that filled with very thick siliciclastic and carbonate successions of the Callanna Group and Burra Group, with minor mafic magmatism. The Burra Group is unconformably overlain by widespread glaciomarine and fluvioglacial deposits of Sturtian age. Subsequent Neoproterozoic sedimentation was less rift-controlled, and includes deposits of the Elatina glaciation of Marinoan age. Delamerian folding and thrusting in the mid-Cambrian involved northwest-directed transport and sinistral transpression, and set up the tectonic framework for neotectonic reactivation when the Australian continent became subject to east-west compression in the Cenozoic. Ancient weathering surfaces and regolith profiles were uplifted and dissected and terrestrial to marine Tertiary basins formed on both sides of the highlands, with Quaternary alluvial deposits flanking the ranges.

  • The excursion will visit representative sections of the Callanna Group and Burra Group, Sturtian and Marinoan glacial deposits, evidence of Delamerian thrusting and folding, neotectonic reverse faulting, Cenozoic marine and terrestrial sediments and regolith profiles, and two of South Australia’s historic copper mines – Burra and Kapunda.

    • Dates – Friday 1st to Saturday 2nd July 2016
    • Duration – 2 days, overnighting in Clare
    • Cost – $600 (all inclusive)
    • Leaders – Wolfgang Preiss and Wayne Cowley (Geological Survey of South Australia)
    • Trip will be cancelled if minimum numbers not reached by the 15th April 2016

AESC Workshops

A diverse selection of workshops has been put forward for the AESC 2016, with workshops covering geochemistry to phase equilibria modelling, aeromagnetic interpretation to epithermal and porphyry mineral deposits. This year there will also be a number of thematic workshops linked with the UNCOVER symposium running as part of the AESC. All workshops will be located either within the Mawson Laboratories at the University of Adelaide or at the University of South Australia, city west campus, both a short walk from the conference venue.

Pre-Conference workshops

  • THERMOCALC workshop – Dr David Kelsey (University of Adelaide)

    Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th June 2016, 1.5 days.

    Venue: Mawson Laboratories, University of Adelaide

    Cost: $55

    THERMOCALC is a program compiled and written by Professors Roger Powell (University of Melbourne) and Tim Holland (University of Cambridge) and is the pre-eminent thermodynamic forward modelling program for constraining the evolution of metamorphic rocks and mineral assemblages as a function of pressure, temperature and composition. An updated database of internally consistent thermodynamic data has recently been released, along with a new suite of thermodynamic mixing models for phases of petrological interest. This 1.5-day short course is aimed at new and interested potential users of THERMOCALC and will involve: 1) introduction to THERMOCALC: what is it, what does it do and how does it do it?; 2) coverage and examples of the types of phase diagrams calculable by THERMOCALC; 3) overview of the new dataset and new thermodynamic mixing models; 4) hands-on tutorials aimed at beginning to use THERMOCALC; 5) choosing an appropriate chemical composition for phase diagram calculations; and 6) examples of the use and application of phase diagrams calculated with THERMOCALC.Highlights:

    •           Learn about how THERMOCALC works

    •           Learn to use THERMOCALC for application to metamorphic rocks

    •           Learn about how to select an appropriate ‘bulk’ composition for phase diagram calculations.

    • Short Course in Aeromagnetic Interpretation – Leigh Rankin (Geointerp) and David Isles (Southern Geoscience) (cancelled)

    Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th June, 1- and 2-day options

    Cost:    1 day option $500 

                2 day option $800


    This is a 2-day version of the internationally-recognised workshop that has been presented by David Isles & Leigh Rankin in over 15 countries over the past 20 years.

    The workshop focuses on a well-tested methodology for qualitative geological interpretation of aeromagnetic data, and intends to:

    a)         Demonstrate the addition of new geological information and understanding to project areas by the introduction, interpretation and integration of aeromagnetic data;

    b)         Impart basic skills in observation, analysis, interpretation and integration of magnetic data with other geological and geophysical datasets, and;

    c)         Develop familiarity and confidence in the use of aeromagnetic data.


    Day 1 – Aeromagnetic interpretation 101

    The first day will concentrate on the introduction of key subjects in aeromagnetic interpretation, including:

    a)         Physical and geological aspects of magnetisation;

    b)         Appropriate processing and imaging of magnetic data;

    c)         Key filtering processes, including Reduction to Pole, Analytic Signal, and Vertical Derivatives etc (when to use, and how to approach them).

    Interspersed with the presentations, participants will work on producing a geological interpretation from a small-scale dataset from the Pine Creek Geosyncline. The exercise will involve participants working through careful recording of observations from a small magnetic dataset through integration with mapped geology and interpretation of the structural setting to outlining specific targets for prospect-scale gold exploration.


    Day 2 – Interpretation and structural analysis

    The second day will review further subjects including:

    a)         Interpretation methodology;

    b)         Structural analysis and aeromagnetic signatures of various structural regimes, and;

    c)         “Unusual’ forms of magnetisation and their effects on interpretation.

    Participants will work on compilation of a geological interpretation of a larger dataset covering a significant section of the Kanmantoo Trough (eastern Adelaide Hills / Murray Basin area), and will examine the structural framework of the Delamerian Orogeny and emplacement of associated granitoid intrusions. This will cover the area to be visited in the post-conference fieldtrip examining the granitoids of the Kanmantoo region.

    The workshop is suitable for all geoscientists involved with geological mapping and exploration.

    The exercises are hand drawn – all materials will be provided, and computers are not required.

    Participants may select either the 1-day or 2-day option.


    • New mineral characterisation techniques – Dr Margaux Le Vaillant and Dr Yulia Uvarova (CSIRO)

      Sunday 26th June 2016, 1 day.
      Cost: $55


    This workshop aims to deliver information on advancements in analytical techniques for detailed characterisation of geologic samples from micro to macro-scale. The techniques for discussion include Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy (SXRF), micro-X-ray Fluorescence (micro-XRF), Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscopy (FEG SEM), x-ray computed tomography (CT), among those used for micro-characterisation of a geologic sample, and portable X-ray Fluorescence and portable X-Ray Diffraction (pXRD) for characterisation of bulk samples.

    We will discuss techniques and applications of microprobe X-ray fluorescence mapping, using the Maia detector system at the Australian Synchrotron, the desktop Bruker Tornado(TM) micro-XRF system and FEG SEM, which all allow element mapping and documenting rare micron-scale features in geologic samples, which provide important textural information for understanding the transport of elements. We will demonstrate application of 3D imaging using low- and high resolution x-ray tomography (CT) to ore genesis and characterisation studies.

    We will also be presenting information on new-cutting edge developments in rapid portable XRF systems applied to core logging, characterisation and mineral processing. Newly emerged portable X-ray Diffraction (pXRD) will be discussed; and we will demonstrate how coupled pXRF-pXRD analyses can be performed on a large set of complex samples in near-real time delivering chemical and full mineralogical information to distinguish lithologies, alteration styles and mineralisation.

    We will also discuss advancements in low-level Au detection.


    • Geoscience analytics with ioGAS and applied case studies –REFLEX (cancelled)

      Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th June, 2-days
      Cost: $520 (subject to minimum numbers being met by 1st May 2016)


    This 2-day course covers practical, hands-on, advanced analytical techniques in ioGAS  for anomaly enhancement, automated material characterisation and data segmentation, which will then be discussed in a range of applied case studies.

    This course is ideal for exploration, production and geometallurgical geoscientists.  No prior knowledge of ioGAS is required.   

    Topics on day one will include advanced analysis techniques applicable to exploration through to geometallurgical modelling; and will include; investigating cause and effect; supervised and unsupervised methodologies for anomaly identification, clustering without prior group membership, allocation of unknowns pre-defined groups using rules and & wavelet analysis for domaining.

    A variety of case studies will be presented on the second day that demonstrate how these methods are used to integrate geophysical and assay data for domaining, to determine rock type and quantify alteration and infer mineralogy from a variety of data types across different commodities including nickel, iron ore, gold, copper and rare earth elements.


    • Epithermal and porphyry Au-Cu-Ag oredeposits – Dr Greg Corbett (CGS) (cancelled)

      Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th June, 2-days.
      Cost: Standard registration $1000, Student/Unemployed $500 (subject to minimum numbers being met by 1st May 2016)


    These 2 days of lectures will focus upon the field aspects of mineral exploration for epithermal and porphyry ore deposits derived from Dr Corbett’s 35 years field experience, and draws on earlier work with the late Terry Leach. It uses examples from over 20 Pacific rim countries and Tethyan arcs, to demonstrate the importance of understanding the controls to epithermal Au-Ag and porphyry Cu-Au mineralisation in order to enhance exploration programs. Similarly, some of the tools used by explorationists such as alteration, structure and breccias are considered, especially in the section on exploring in the geological environment above the crustal levels where economic mineralisation is developed. An updated short course manual, with colour graphics and rock photos, will be provided.


Mid-Conference Workshop


  • A tour through Data Metallogenica – Georgina Gordon (Geological Survey of South Australia)
    Tuesday 28th and Thursday 30th June 2016, ~3 hours.
    Venue: DSD’s NEW Core Library at Tonsley Park.
    Cost: $15 (Strictly limited places, subject to minimum numbers)



Data Metallogenica is the world’s largest mineral deposit database, a unique technical information system made possible through the support of over one hundred and fifty international Foundation Sponsors from industry, government and professional societies. DM is a self-funding but not-for-profit enterprise, owned and operated by AMIRA International on behalf of the global minerals industry and associated institutions. DM can be used as a major reference, training and educational resource for all, as well as being a key repository of much transient and valuable information on ore deposits. The DM physical collection from about 3,000 deposits of all types from around the world is composed of about 60,000 small “mini” samples (Lithotheque) in sets of 20, permanently bonded to aluminium sheets that fit into slotted shelves, and approximately 8000 hand-specimens (Macrotheque) arranged by geological setting (approximately 365 sets).

The physical collection has been photographed at high quality and can be accessed online as a global encyclopaedia of ore deposits at, with much supporting data also available.

The physical collection is hosted by the Department of State Development, Mineral Resources at the new Core Storage Facility. The collection is available for inspection, under DSD supervision, for sponsors and professional geologists utilising the Core Library. The physical collection of samples (Lithotheque and Macrotheque), can be viewed twice during the conference, and will showcase the mineral deposits of South Australia and some key deposit types from around the world. If you have specific enquiries for your visit, please forward your request to Georgina Gordon (


Post-Conference Workshops

  • Orogenic Gold Deposits: Geology, Geochemistry, Exploration Criteria, and Global Patterns – Dr Richard J. Goldfarb (Colorado School of Mines & china University of Geosciences Beijing)

    Friday 1st July 2016, 1 day.
    Venue: To be confirmed.
    Cost: Standard registration $200, Student/Unemployed $55

Orogenic gold deposits, or gold deposits in metamorphic rocks, are the spatially and temporally most widespread gold deposit type, defining important exploration targets in Precambrian shields and in Phanerozoic orogenic belts. Detailed material for this globally important deposit type will be provided on tectonic and structural controls, geological characteristics, geochemical and geophysical signatures, geochronological relationships, and exploration strategies. Examples of world class deposits and districts will be presented from throughout the world, particularly from well-studied accretionary orogens. Targeting of specific terranes in space and time will be detailed to better understand where to explore and where success for discovery is unlikely.  Comparisons and contrasts with other major gold deposit types, including the Carlin-type and intrusion-related gold system ores, will be described. The course is aimed for geoscientists from both industry and academia, as well as students of economic geology, who desire a comprehensive understanding of modern concepts on the geology of gold deposits.


  • HyLogger™ Workshop.Learn the value of objective spectral results applied directly to core during manual logging and see the wealth of information available in the digital data – Dr Jonathan Huntington and Dr Carsten Laukamp (CSIRO)

    Friday 1st July 2016, 1 day.
    Venue: DSD’s NEW Core Library at Tonsley Park with a dedicated HyLogger facility.
    Cost: Free

The Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) successfully trialled the prototype HyLogger™ technology in May 2002 and since then, has worked to systematically scan the core collection maintained at the GSSA Drill Core Storage Facility. By 2009 75,000 metres had been logged with the proto-type machine. In May 2009 GSSA took delivery of an Auscope Funded HyLogger and by May 2015 over 200,000 metres of drillcore have been scanned with the latest technology – representing approximately one third of the diamond core collection. Open file data is available for download through SARIG. The system uses automated core tray handling, continuous visible, shortwave infrared and thermal infrared spectroscopy, and digital imaging, to characterise and identify dominant mineral species on core and chips, at spatial resolutions of ~1cm (spectral data) and ~0.1mm (image data). The system can log up to 500 metres of core per day. Mineralogy is pre-interpreted using specialised identification software trained on a selected suite of minerals showing characteristic absorption features within the measured spectral range.

  • Techniques in regolith and landscape mapping – Dr Carmen Krapf (Geological Survey of South Australia), Dr Paul Morris (Geological Survey of Western Australia), Malcolm Sheard (Geological Survey of South Australia)

    Friday 1st July 2016, 1 day.
    Venue: DSD-GSSA, Level 7, 101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide
    Cost: $55


With about 70% of Australia’s land surface covered by transported regolith material a major challenge is exploring effectively and efficiently through regolith cover of various types and thickness. Regolith mapping is the basis for assisting in this challenge, provides a context for exploration in regolith-dominated terrains, shows the distribution and abundance of various regolith materials available for soil surveys and geochemical sampling, helps in designing and interpreting geochemical surveys and interpretation of results, provides a first step to understanding landscape evolution of an area, and can be used as a powerful exploration tool in itself.

In this short course we will present two major regolith mapping techniques and procedures that are used by the Geological Surveys of South Australia and Western Australia as an integral part of their geological mapping programs. This will be accompanied with regolith mapping exercises featuring the Yilgarn and Gawler Cratons, the Tanami Desert and the Musgrave Province; an introduction to regolith formation and materials; an overview of useful data sources for regolith mapping, including spectral and geophysical data; and a display of world-class regolith hand specimens from South Australia will also be part of this short course.

UNCOVER thematic workshops

  • UNCOVER Isotope geology:  a window into crustal evolution, fertility and the geodynamics of earth 
    – Dr Justin Payne (University of South Australia.), Dr Chris Kirkland (Curtin University) and Dr Bruce Schaefer (Macquarie University)

    Friday 1st July 2016, 1 day.
    Venue: City west campus, University of South Australia
    Cost: $55


Australia's mineral resource-rich crust contains one of the most complete and continuous geological records on Earth, but the lack of exposure makes much of this record relatively inaccessible. Isotope geology is well suited to investigating the evolution of the Australian crust as a significant amount of information can be gathered from relatively limited material. Whole rock and mineral isotope systems provide the opportunity to constrain the timing of geological events, determine the source and tectonic setting of magmatism, provenance of sediments, identify the source of metals and infer the source and evolution of fluids in mineralised and non-mineralised systems. However, the rapid development of new analytical techniques for in-situ U-Pb, Lu-Hf, Re-Os and O isotope analysis and solution analysis of the heavy stable isotopes (e.g. Cu, Zn, Fe, Mg) has resulted in isotope geology becoming a somewhat specialised field with many of the strengths and limitations of these isotope systems not fully realised by the broader geoscience community. 

This workshop is focused on exploring the strengths and limitations of modern isotope geology for characterising the Australian crust and its mineral systems. Discussion of the systematics and analysis of common radiogenic and stable isotope systems in the morning session will set the scene for a series of applied Australian case studies in the afternoon. The workshop will finish with a forum to address the future directions of isotope geology to inform the UNCOVER initiative to improve the success rates of mineral exploration under post-mineralisation cover. Recommendations from this workshop will be posted on the UNCOVER website (


  • UNCOVER Australian Lithospheric Architecture (cancelled) Dr Karol Czarnota (Geoscience Australia) and Dr Juan-Carlos Afonso (Macquarie University)
    • Saturday 2nd – Sunday 3rd July 2016, 2 days.
    • Venue: Mawson Laboratories, University of Adelaide
    • Cost: $90


There is a growing acceptance within the geoscience community that the distribution of magmatic and hydrothermal mineral deposits is controlled by lithospheric scale architecture. Nevertheless, outstanding questions remain as to the utility of lithospheric scale studies in mineral exploration. Under the auspices of the UNCOVER initiative this workshop aims to focus the geological, geochemical and geophysical lithospheric architecture community on three questions to facilitate mineral exploration under cover in Australia:

  • What are the critical lithospheric scale features that need to be identified?
  • What data sets, and at what resolution, are necessary to image these features?
  • What is the best way to integrate critical data sets?

This workshop will consist of a series of invited talks and multidisciplinary breakout groups with the aim of harnessing the knowledge of the geoscience community to inform the UNCOVER initiative. Recommendations from this workshop will be posted on the UNCOVER website (


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