Canberra, Australia
Canberra, Australia

Geoscience Australia is an agency of the Australian federal government. It carries out geoscientific research. On a user pays basis it produces geospatial products such as topographic maps and satellite imagery. Wikipedia.

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News Article | June 2, 2017

From checking water levels in far-flung dams to making sure the sheep aren’t wrecking the paddock, Australian farmers sometimes find themselves needing to be everywhere at once – and, thanks to the latest satellite analysis capabilities, soon they could be. In May, the Turnbull government allocated $15.3m over two years to deliver Digital Earth Australia, a free open-access set of products (a beta model is currently accessible) that account for complex variations in the atmosphere, sun position and view angle to deliver precise, continually updated imagery into the hands of the public. Developed by Geoscience Australia in coordination with the CSIRO and the National Computational Infrastructure, the project will for the first time provide open access to three decades of historical satellite data captured every two weeks at 25-metre squared resolution, with future images to provide detail down to every 10 square metres of Australia updated every five days. The project will offer datasets including the normalised difference vegetation index and fractional cover to help paint a picture of changes to vegetation, an intertidal extents model that provides a picture of changes to tidal patterns and coastlines, and water observations from space that monitor rivers, lakes, dams and flooding. Geoscience Australia’s environmental geoscience division chief, Dr Stuart Minchin, says that, along with the mining sector and environmental studies, agriculture would particularly benefit from world-leading landscape monitoring capabilities, citing the popularity of the technology in an Australia-wide trial. By the conclusion of the NRM Spatial Hub study last year, farmers on 300 properties covering an area of more than 50 million hectares were using satellite data to analyse the vegetation condition of their properties to see where feed was available and not being used, and move water points accordingly to encourage livestock to migrate to those areas. A survey of those involved found 95% of users thought the technology had the potential to measurably improve the productivity and sustainability of their property. “Over 70% of the graziers involved in the trial said they believed the technology would increase their sustainable carry capacity, and it can now be rolled out to every grazier in the country,” Minchin says. He also notes that the technology is also able to monitor how quickly crops are drying out, allowing farmers to adjust schedules for water and fertiliser application across large areas accordingly. Minchin adds that flood risk could be counteracted by providing farmers with information about which specific paddocks or buildings are likely to become inundated based on weather forecasts combined with analysis of past flood levels. He says insurance companies are also interested in using satellite-based indexes on drought to provide insurance to farms, so if they get to certain levels of dryness they get a payout regardless of whether government declares drought. Dr Graeme Kernich, the deputy chief executive of the part government funded CRCSI research group, says his organisation was involved in some of the early phases of development of the project and is pleased with how it has developed. “We are road-mapping it now and intend to serve as a conduit for local industry, helping them identify low-hanging fruit which can be addressed by this technology,” he says. In developing a continually evolving picture of countrywide vegetation cover, water supplies, coastal erosion and the impacts of flood and drought, the technology also has significant potential to analyse the biggest threat to Australian farmers – climate change, which is already reducing farm productivity and potential wheat yields. Australian National University paleoclimate scientist Andrew Glikson says the federal government generally “did not want to accept the reality of climate science” but that the Digital Earth Australia product line it is funding should in any case “greatly improve detailed real-time monitoring of Australia’s landscape conditions, water resources, pasture and natural vegetation environments, as a function of changing climate conditions, with major contributions to research by government authorities, CSIRO, BOM, universities and the agricultural and mining sectors”. Despite its potential, the capability to contribute to climate change research is not mentioned in the original project funding announcement by the resources minister, Matthew Canavan, nor in a Geoscience Australia site explaining the benefits of the project. Canavan, who last year expressed “uncertainty” about climate change, told the Guardian in a statement that his announcement “provided examples of some of the practical uses of Digital Earth Australia, not a list of its limitations” and that he expects the technology “will have a wide range of applications, including information about climate change”. For Geoscience Australia’s part, Minchin says the project has applicability in areas such as the monitoring of carbon farming initiatives but that climate change is not a “core focus” of the project, which he says focuses more on ways to help business productivity. The University of Melbourne director of Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration, Prof Abbas Rajabifard, says the applicability of the project to climate change depends in the end on “the authorities setting up the standardised protocols and specification for the development of analytical tools and applications”.

As the new U.S. administration settles in and begins implementing its policies; national security, weapons and cybersecurity sectors are poised to benefit due to an increased focus and willingness to spend on the newest and leading edge early detection products and services for cybersecurity, defense and weapon terrorization and threats. Companies focused on meeting the rising security industry needs include: Patriot One Technologies Inc., (OTC: PTOTF) (TSX-V: PAT.V), Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR), FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) Patriot One Technologies Inc., (OTCQB: PTOTF) (TSX.V: PAT), developer of a revolutionary concealed weapons detection system, has been accepted and recognized by the Security Industry Association (SIA) and ISC West to participate in the New Product Showcase in Las Vegas, NV. The New Product Showcase is the premier platform for security professionals to evaluate new products and technologies for use in security applications. Patriot One's NForce CMR1000 software solution will be featured in the Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection category as part of the New Product Showcase at ISC West, the largest security industry trade show in the U.S. The event will be held at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas from April 5-7th. Read this and more news for Patriot One Technologies at: "We are honored and excited to be accepted into the New Product Showcase, that benchmarks us against the best products in the market for weapons detection," said Martin Cronin, CEO and Director of Patriot One Technologies. "We are pleased to demonstrate to the judges an innovative and disruptive technology that will be a real step forward in public security." The first-of-a-kind NForce CMR1000 is an easily-concealed, cost-effective and non-invasive full-body scanning technology that is practical and safe. The device can covertly detect on-body concealed weapons (rifles, handguns, knives, grenades, explosive vests) at key access points and doorways of weapons-restricted buildings and facilities. The solution is designed to be installed behind walls, in ceilings and in floors, and may be installed to notify security professionals prior to an individual carrying a weapon into a building. In addition, the NForce CMR1000 solution can be integrated with other access point security systems to assist in locking down doors, turnstiles, elevators and other access point gating systems. In other security related market performances and developments of note include: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced recently that the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta), a major international telecommunications hub in the Eastern Mediterranean, has selected Kratos' End-to-End Network Management Suite of products to support its expanding satellite ground operations. The network management suite will help Cyta scale its international operations by automating network functions and managing customer services and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) more effectively across hybrid satellite and terrestrial networks. Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) Recent Developments: Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals are critical tools for industries requiring exact precision and high confidence. Now, Geoscience Australia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Lockheed Martin (LMT) have entered into a collaborative research project to show how augmenting signals from multiple GNSS constellations can enhance positioning, navigation, and timing for a range of applications. TASER International (NASDAQ: TASR), the global leader in public safety technology, including body-worn video and smart weapons, this month announced two acquisitions to launch a new artificial intelligence group called "Axon AI." The acquired technologies and team of about 20 researchers and engineers will accelerate the introduction of new AI-powered capabilities for public safety. FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE), the intelligence-led security company, this week announced several enhancements to its endpoint security solution designed to offer unparalleled protection from threats missed by legacy and next-generation endpoint solutions. Utilizing the behavioral analysis capabilities of Exploit Guard, Endpoint Security now adds the prevention capabilities needed to quickly detect and respond to threats against Microsoft Windows. With this latest release, FireEye® Endpoint Security also adds support for macOS endpoints. These new capabilities are generally available to customers around the world today. DISCLAIMER: (MNU) is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. MNU is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein. MNU and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security. MNU's market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities. 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Titov O.,Geoscience Australia
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2010

The gravitational attraction of the Galactic Centre leads to the centrifugal acceleration of the Solar system barycentre. It results in secular aberration drift which displaces the position of the distant radio sources. The effect should be accounted for in high-precision astrometric reductions as well as by the corresponding update of the International Celestial Reference System definition. © 2010 Commonwealth of Australia as represented by Geoscience Australia. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.

Leonard M.,Geoscience Australia
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America | Year: 2010

In this paper, I propose the scaling relation W = C 1L β (where [β ≈ 2/3) to describe the scaling of rupture width with rupture length. I also propose a new displacement relation D̄ = C 2√A, where A is the area (LW). By substituting these equations into the definition of seismic moment (M 0 =μDLW), I have developed a series of self-consistent equations that describe the scaling between seismic moment, rupture area, length, width, and average displacement. In addition to β, the equations have only two variables, C 1 and C 2, which have been estimated empirically for different tectonic settings. The relations predict linear log-log relationships, the slope of which depends only on β. These new scaling relations, unlike previous relations, are self-consistent, in that they enable moment, rupture length, width, area, and displacement to be estimated from each other and with these estimates all being consistent with the definition of seismic moment. I interpret C 1 as depending on the size at which a rupture transitions from having a constant aspect ratio to following a power law and C 1 as depending on the displacement per unit area of fault rupture and so static stress drop. It is likely that these variables differ between tectonic environments; this might explain much of the scatter in the empirical data. I suggest that these relations apply to all faults. For small earthquakes (M < ~5)β=1, in which case L 3 fault scaling applies. For larger (M > ~5) earthquakes β 2=3, so L 2.5 applies. For dip-slip earthquakes this scaling applies up to the largest events. For very large (M >~7.2) strike-slip earthquakes, which are fault widthlimited, β = 0 and assuming D ∞ √A, then L 1.5 scaling applies. In all cases, M 0 ∞ A 1.5 fault scaling applies.

Harris P.T.,Geoscience Australia | Whiteway T.,Geoscience Australia
Marine Geology | Year: 2011

The aim of this study is to assess the global occurrence of large submarine canyons to provide context and guidance for discussions regarding canyon occurrence, distribution, geological and oceanographic significance and conservation. Based on an analysis of the ETOPO1 data set, this study has compiled the first inventory of 5849 separate large submarine canyons in the world ocean. Active continental margins contain 15% more canyons (2586, equal to 44.2% of all canyons) than passive margins (2244, equal to 38.4%) and the canyons are steeper, shorter, more dendritic and more closely spaced on active than on passive continental margins. This study confirms observations of earlier workers that a relationship exists between canyon slope and canyon spacing (increased canyon slope correlates with closer canyon spacing). The greatest canyon spacing occurs in the Arctic and the Antarctic whereas canyons are more closely spaced in the Mediterranean than in other areas.River-associated, shelf-incising canyons are more numerous on active continental margins (n = 119) than on passive margins (n = 34). They are most common on the western margins of South and North America where they comprise 11.7% and 8.6% of canyons respectively, but are absent from the margins of Australia and Antarctica. Geographic areas having relatively high rates of sediment export to continental margins, from either glacial or fluvial sources operating over geologic timescales, have greater numbers of shelf-incising canyons than geographic areas having relatively low rates of sediment export to continental margins. This observation is consistent with the origins of some canyons being related to erosive turbidity flows derived from fluvial and shelf sediment sources.Other workers have shown that benthic ecosystems in shelf-incising canyons contain greater diversity and biomass than non-incising canyons, and that ecosystems located above 1500. m water depth are more vulnerable to destructive fishing practices (bottom trawling) and ocean acidification caused by anthropogenic climate change. The present study provides the means to assess the relative significance of canyons located in different geographic regions. On this basis, the importance of conservation for submarine canyon ecosystems is greater for Australia, islands and northeast Asia than for other regions. © 2011.

Physical disturbances of the seafloor play a key role in ecosystem function and are postulated to exert control over spatial patterns of biodiversity. This review investigates the role of natural physical sedimentological processes that occur in shelf, slope and abyssal environments that also act as disturbances to benthic ecosystems and which, under certain circumstances, give rise to benthic disturbance regimes. Physical sedimentological processes can cause both press (process that causes a disturbance by acting over a timespan that is intolerable to benthos) and pulse (process that causes a disturbance by exceeding a threshold above which benthos are unable to remain attached to the seabed or are buried under rapidly deposited sediment) types of disturbance. On the continental shelf, pulse-type disturbances are due to temperate and tropical storm events, and press-type of disturbances identified here are due to the migration of bedforms and other sand bodies, and sustained periods of elevated turbidity caused by seasonally reversing wind patterns. On the continental slope and at abyssal depths, pulse-type disturbances are due to slumps, turbidity currents; benthic storms may cause either press or pulse type disturbances. A possible press-type of disturbance identified here is inter-annual changes in abyssal bottom current speed and/or direction. It is concluded that: 1) physical sedimentary disturbance regimes may characterize as much as 10% of the global ocean floor; 2) multidisciplinary research programs that integrate oceanography, sedimentology and benthic ecology to collect time series observational data sets are needed to study disturbance regimes; and 3) predictive habitat suitability modeling must include disturbance regime concepts, along with other biophysical variables that define the fundamental niches of marine species, in order to advance. © 2014.

Li J.,Geoscience Australia | Heap A.D.,Geoscience Australia
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2014

Spatially continuous data of environmental variables are often required for environmental sciences and management. However, information for environmental variables is usually collected by point sampling, particularly for the mountainous region and deep ocean area. Thus, methods generating such spatially continuous data by using point samples become essential tools. Spatial interpolation methods (SIMs) are, however, often data-specific or even variable-specific. Many factors affect the predictive performance of the methods and previous studies have shown that their effects are not consistent. Hence it is difficult to select an appropriate method for a given dataset. This review aims to provide guidelines and suggestions regarding application of SIMs to environmental data by comparing the features of the commonly applied methods which fall into three categories, namely: non-geostatistical interpolation methods, geostatistical interpolation methods and combined methods. Factors affecting the performance, including sampling design, sample spatial distribution, data quality, correlation between primary and secondary variables, and interaction among factors, are discussed. A total of 25 commonly applied methods are then classified based on their features to provide an overview of the relationships among them. These features are quantified and then clustered to show similarities among these 25 methods. An easy to use decision tree for selecting an appropriate method from these 25 methods is developed based on data availability, data nature, expected estimation, and features of the method. Finally, a list of software packages for spatial interpolation is provided. © 2013.

Weathering intensity largely controls the degree to which primary minerals are altered to secondary components including clay minerals and oxides. As weathering intensity increases there are changes in the hydrological, geochemical and geophysical characteristics of the regolith. Thus, once calibrated, weathering intensity can be used to predict a range of regolith properties. A weathering intensity index (WII) over the Australian continent has been developed at a 100. m resolution using regression models based on airborne gamma-ray spectrometry imagery and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation data. Airborne gamma-ray spectrometry measures the concentration of three radioelements - potassium (K), thorium (Th) and uranium (U) at the Earth's surface. The total gamma-ray flux (dose) is also calculated based on the weighted additions of the three radioelements. Regolith accounts for over 85% of the Australian land area and has a major influence in determining the composition of surface materials and in controlling hydrological and geomorphological processes. The weathering intensity prediction is based on the integration of two regression models. The first uses relief over landscapes with low gamma-ray emissions and the second incorporates radioelement distributions and relief. The application of a stepwise forward multiple regression for the second model generated a weathering intensity index equation of: WII = 6.751 + - 0.851 * K + - 1.319 * Relief + 2.682 * Th/K + - 2.590 * Dose. The WII has been developed for erosional landscapes but also has the potential to inform on deposition processes and materials. The WII correlates well with site based geochemical indices and existing regolith mapping. Interpretation of the WII from regional to local scales and its application in providing more reliable and spatially explicit information on regolith properties are described. © 2012.

Byrne M.,University of Sydney | Przeslawski R.,Geoscience Australia
Integrative and Comparative Biology | Year: 2013

Benthic marine invertebrates live in a multistressor world where stressor levels are, and will continue to be, exacerbated by global warming and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. These changes are causing the oceans to warm, decrease in pH, become hypercapnic, and to become less saturated in carbonate minerals. These stressors have strong impacts on biological processes, but little is known about their combined effects on the development of marine invertebrates. Increasing temperature has a stimulatory effect on development, whereas hypercapnia can depress developmental processes. The pH, pCO 2, and CaCO3 of seawater change simultaneously with temperature, challenging our ability to predict future outcomes for marine biota. The need to consider both warming and acidification is reflected in the recent increase in cross-factorial studies of the effects of these stressors on development of marine invertebrates. The outcomes and trends in these studies are synthesized here. Based on this compilation, significant additive or antagonistic effects of warming and acidification of the ocean are common (16 of 20 species studied), and synergistic negative effects also are reported. Fertilization can be robust to near-future warming and acidification, depending on the male-female mating pair. Although larvae and juveniles of some species tolerate near-future levels of warming and acidification (+2C/pH 7.8), projected far-future conditions (ca. 4C/pH 7.6) are widely deleterious, with a reduction in the size and survival of larvae. It appears that larvae that calcify are sensitive both to warming and acidification, whereas those that do not calcify are more sensitive to warming. Different sensitivities of life-history stages and species have implications for persistence and community function in a changing ocean. Some species are more resilient than others and may be potential "winners" in the climate-change stakes. As the ocean will change more gradually over coming decades than in "future shock" perturbation investigations, it is likely that some species, particularly those with short generation times, may be able to tolerate near-future oceanic change through acclimatization and/or adaption. © 2013 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved.

Hatherly P.,Geoscience Australia
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2013

Since their introduction to the coal mining industries of the United Kingdom and West Germany in the 1970s, geophysical methods are now utilised in coal mining around the world. The range of applications in both surface and underground mining is extensive. Applications include coal seam mapping and geological fault detection, lithological mapping, geotechnical evaluation, assessment of the rock mass response to mining, detection of voids, location of trapped miners and guidance of drills and mining equipment. The range of techniques that can be employed is also extensive and includes geophysical borehole logging, the potential field methods, seismic reflection (2D and 3D), resistivity, electromagnetics and microseismic monitoring using active and passive sources. This paper discusses the major applications and the geophysical methods that can be applied. It also discusses future trends and suggests that the future motives for applying geophysics will not only include the current motivations of mine safety and productivity but will also include an increased emphasis on environmental management, the monitoring of sequestration activities and the provision of sensors to enable autonomous mining. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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