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geoz 122 February 2016


Thrust faulting moves Taiwan

Taiwan straddles the boundary between the Philippine Sea and Eurasia plates. At the location of the most recent Magnitude 6.4 earthquake, the two plates converge in a northwest-southeast direction and thrust faulting is responsible for the recent damage.
News report:
USGS report:

Big Ben caught in the act

An Australian expedition to Heard Island arrived just in time recently to witness an eruption in progress from Mawson Peak on Big Ben massif (the highest point of Australian territory outside Antarctica). Lava flows could be seen running over glacial ice near the summit before they disappeared under the ice further down slope. The primary mission of the voyage is to study the link between active volcanoes on the seafloor and the mobilisation of iron, which supports life in the Southern Ocean. Witnessing an eruption of one of Australia's few active volcanoes is a bonus!
News report:
Video clip:


Divisional information is regularly updated at
Check this site for more recent information on the following events:

Australian Capital Territory

Regular meetings 2016: Third Tuesday of each month (Except January)
Jaeger Lecture Theatre, Jaeger Building (Building 61), Australian National University. 5.00pm for 5.30pm start.
For more information:

Tuesday 16th February 2016
Kim Picard
Seabed environments of the remote southeastern Indian Ocean in the search area for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 – remnants of Gondwana, mass wasting, spreading ridges and volcanoes
Jaeger Lecture Theatre, Jaeger Building (Building 61), ANU. 5.00 pm for 5.30 pm

Tuesdayday 16th March 2016
Student careers lunch
3 speakers TBA
Jaeger Lecture Theatre, Jaeger Building (Building 61), ANU. 5.00 pm for 5.30 pm

New South Wales

2016 meeting dates to be advised
For more information:

Joint GSA - ASEG - AIG course: 16 and 17 February 2016
Professor Mike Dentith
Geophysics for the Mineral Exploration Geoscientist
The course targets geologists who have had limited training in exploration geophysics.
The Barbarian Room, Rugby Place, Sydney CBD
For registration and more details follow this link:

Thursday 10th March 2016
Elections for NSW Division Committee
NSW Division talk by GSA president Graham Carr
Reflections on 35 years of mineral exploration research in Australia - my views on the Top 5 influential research outputs
Rugby Club, Circular Quay. 5.30 pm

Northern Territory

Annual General Meeting: Wednesday, 17 February, Darwin
Annual Dinner: Friday, 19 February, Darwin

AGES 2016, Alice Springs, 15 – 16 March 2016
The 17th Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar


2016 meeting dates to be advised
For more information:

Thursday 18th February 2016
A one-day seminar presented by the Geological Society of Australia, Queensland Division
Mount Isa Stratigraphy, Geodynamics and Mineral Systems
Broncos Leagues Club, 92 Fulcher Road, Red Hill Qld, 4059 For additional information please contact the co-convenors, Ian Withnall or Laurie Hutton. Register here:

Every Wednesday evening: GeoPub
Weekly Informal get-together for Explorers, Miners & other Geoscientists
O'Malleys Irish Pub - Basement Level, Wintergarden in the Queen Street Mall, Brisbane. 5.30 pm

South Australia

Regular meetings: Third Thursday of each month (except January)
The Mawson Theatre, Mawson Laboratories, Adelaide University, 5.15 pm for 6.15 pm
For more information:

Thursday 18th February 2016
Dr Ian Moffat, University of Adelaide, Archaeometry & Precipice Training
Mapping Ancient Greek Cities with Geophysics
Mawson Theatre, University of Adelaide. 5.30 pm for 6.15 pm


2016 meeting dates to be advised
For more information:


2016 meeting dates to be advised
For more information:

Thursday 25th February 2016
First meeting for the year, presenter and talk TBA
Fritz Lowe Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne. 5.30 pm for 6.15 pm

Geological Society of Australia, Victoria Division, Student Research Scholarships
The scholarship is valued at up to $500 for travel within Australia and $700 for travel outside of Australia. The number of and value of the scholarships awarded each year is made at the discretion of the GSA (Vic) committee. Funding will not be granted retrospectively and applicants are asked to submit forms no later than 6 weeks prior to their trip to give the committee time to consider the application.
Follow this link for more information and the application form.

Western Australia

Regular meetings: First Wednesday of each month (except December and January)
Irish Club of WA, 61 Townshend Road, Subiaco, 5.30pm
For more information:

Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Dr Michael O'Leary Curtin University
Far field effects of continental plate collisions
Irish Club of WA (Inc), 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco, 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm

Wednesday 2nd March 2016
Dr David Mole CSIRO
Crustal evolution in space and time: understanding the hottest magmas on Earth and the localisation of Ni-Cu-PGE systems
Irish Club of WA (Inc), 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco, 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm


GSA membership renewals for 2016

2016 Member renewals have been mailed. If you didn't receive your renewal please contact the GSA office.

Membership is based on a calendar year: 1st January - 31st December 2016.

Want to know more about GSA membership? Contact us!

Working reduced hours or retrenched during the downturn?
If you are a GSA member of five years of more and have been retrenched in the downturn please contact the GSA as you will be eligible for membership assistance. Membership fees for unemployed members receiving AJES (online or hardcopy) are reduced to $25.00 for 2016 and will be waived for unemployed members not receiving AJES.

New Members campaign

The GSA is offering all members the opportunity to reduce their membership fee by $50 if they sign up a new full member for 2016. If you are a full member and sign up another full member for 2016 you both will receive $50.00 off your 2016 membership. Already paid 2016 fees? Sign up a full member before 30 March 2016 and we will reimburse you $50. This is your chance to grow the Society and reduce your fees.

If you contact us, we can assist you with your GSA membership, by email or phone (02) 9290 2194. GSA Membership is from the 1st January to the 31st December.

AESC 2016: Abstract submissions extended until Monday February 22

The AESC 2016 Call for Abstracts was due to close this week but has been extended until Monday February 22. Don't miss out! AESC 2016: Uncover Earth's Past to Discover Our Future with six themes and four symposia has many opportunities for you to contribute.

  •    Earth's Environment - Past to Present
  •    Tectonics of the Planet
  •    Deep Earth Geodynamics
  •    Mineral Endowment
  •    Geoscience and Society
  •    Earth Science for Energy

AESC Call for Papers 2016

The Geological Society of Australia welcomes presenters to submit abstracts for AESC 2016 sessions and symposia. The AESC 2016 program will provide a platform to share knowledge critical to geoscientists working in a number of fields.

Abstracts can be submitted online (click here).

Key Dates:
Open Call for Abstracts: 3 November 2015
Close Call for Abstract submissions: 22 February 2016
Final acceptance notification to speakers: 18 March 2016

The AESC 2016 registration is now open. Click here for more information.
We look forward to seeing you in Adelaide in 2016.

Key Dates
Early Bird registration closes: 15 April 2016
26-30 June 2016, Adelaide Convention Centre

Combined logo and image map GA logo SA-DSD logo AESC logo GSA logo

FB logo   Like us on Facebook and stay informed about the AESC.

Palaeo Down Under 2

Australasian Palaeontologists (AAP) cordially invites all palaeontologists from Australia, New Zealand and around the world to participate in Palaeo Down Under 2 (PDU2) in Adelaide on 11 - 15 July, 2016.

Provisional list of Symposia:

  •    Ediacaran (ISES) and Cambrian (ISCS) Meeting
  •    Palaeontology from New Zealand
  •    Dinosaurs in Australia
  •    Cave Palaeontology
  •    Latest technologies applied to Palaeontology
  •    Palaeontological Illustration
  •    Palaeontological Heritage: Protection & Promotion
  •    Palaeontological Collection Managing & Curation

Visit to find out more about the conference and the pre- and post-conference field trips and to register your expression of interest in attending.

Australian Neotectonics: New science for unconventional energy, mineral resources, groundwater, and hazard assessment

Organised by the Environmental, Engineering and Hydrogeology Specialist Group (EEHSG), this 2-day Symposium will be held from Monday 29th February to Tuesday 1st March 2016, at Geoscience Australia, Canberra and is sponsored by the Melbourne Energy Institute. Registration for the event is essential, but free! Travel grants for students wishing to participate will be considered.

This 2-day symposium will explore how an understanding of Neogene-to-Recent tectonic processes helps inform contemporary geoscience issues of seismic hazard, mineral, energy and groundwater resources and environmental management in Australia. The Symposium will focus on the potential benefit of aligning challenging contemporary problems in resource and environmental management with new ways of thinking about how subtle tectonic processes have shaped the Australian continent over the last few million years.

Over a dozen research leaders from Academia, Government and Industry have been invited to present papers, with other contributions welcomed. If interested in participating, please contact Dr Ken Lawrie (; Tel. 02 62499847; Mob. 0427 434950). For those wishing to present a paper, you are invited to submit abstracts (350 word limit), with the best papers selected for oral contributions. Opportunities also exist to present poster papers. Friday 12th February 2016 is the abstract deadline.


China consolidates rare earth operations

In 2014 China began to consolidate its rare earth industry in order to control illegal mining and pollution as well as modernise the industry. Consolidation should be complete by the middle of this year and may result in significant changes to the supply of rare earth materials. Currently, most of China's rare earth producers are operating at a loss due to a market flooded with illegally sourced minerals and many are expected to cease production. New Chinese environmental regulations including green export certificates and new taxes based on the value of the minerals, rather than on volume, are also set to be introduced. The government hopes this will stabilise the industry and return remaining producers to profit. Just what this means for the price of consumer goods dependent on rare earth materials remains to be seen.
News report:

Earthquake warnings: how much are a few seconds warning worth?

Residents of San Francisco and other cities in earthquake prone areas could benefit from warnings of an impending earthquake, even if the warnings arrive less than 30 seconds before major shaking begins. Such short timelines would provide no opportunity to evacuate to safer areas but would enable elevators to cease operation, trains to be slowed or stopped and warnings to be issued to hospital surgical wards. The United States has the technical capability to introduce all these measures, and more, to its earthquake prone western seaboard. So far it has failed to do so due to a lack of funds and agreement over who should pay for its operation despite mounting evidence that such a system would save many lives.


Nickel discovery's 50th anniversary celebrated despite the downturn

During January 28, 1966, a Western Mining drilling operation at Kambalda in Western Australia intersected 2.75m @ 8.3% Nickel (in what would become known as the Lunnon Shoot). This discovery triggered what historians now call the Nickel Boom that extended from 1966 to 1971. It established the Kambalda nickel region, after which Kambalda-type nickel deposits are named, and it is still producing to this day. Currently the commodity cycle sees Nickel producers struggling but despite the downturn the region has been celebrating the discovery that put it on the map and brought wealth and prosperity to the nation.

Popocatépetl just keeps going


Popocatépetl has been continually erupting since 1994 when it broke a 50 year period of inactivity. Recently it has recorded up to 68 daily emissions of water vapour, gas, and ash, and 2-5 explosions per day. During 23 January of this year activity increased with near continuous gas-and-ash emissions thought to be related to the collapse of a recently-formed lava dome. Mexico's Puebla airport was temporarily closed due to ash on the run way.
Image courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory.
Image source:
News report:
Volcano updates:


AGC travel grants announced

The Australian Geoscience Council has announced its list of inaugural recipients of the 34th International Geological Congress Travel Grant Scheme for Early-Career Australian and New Zealand Geoscientists. The GSA extends its congratulations to all the talented geoscientists in receipt of this recognition of their outstanding aspirations to advance geoscience knowledge and understanding through their endeavours.

How to pick an eruption is imminent

New research from European super-volcano Campi Flegrei suggests late-stage volatile saturation probably triggers eruption and that the transition of the magma system from under-saturated to saturated may occur on time scales much shorter than previously thought. This means explosive eruptions may begin with little warning but changes in the gases emitted from the mouth of a volcano could provide clues to when an eruption is imminent.
News report:
Research abstract:

Mars: The field trip continued ...                            


Another Sol, another selfie
The latest self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at Namib Dune. Departing the dunes after taking samples of sand the rover has scuffed into the dune with a wheel and will use on board cameras to examine the results. During on-board sample processing, an actuator in the sample-processing device did not perform as expected when commanded. In response the rover stopped moving the actuator and halted further use of the arm and sampling system and is awaiting diagnostics. The next sites, beyond the dune field, are being evaluated for the next use of Curiosity's drill to collect rock-powder samples of the bedrock.
Image courtesy of: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

Video report on the dune field

New moves for Curiosity to sample sands of Mars

Leaving the dunes for more solid rock

Opportunity survives seventh Martian winter

More news from the solar system ...

Another asteroid 2013 TX68 fly by on March 5: close but not too close

Planet Nine might explain a whole bunch of things

Isotopes support Theia hypothesis

Early Earth monograph a tour-de-force

... and elsewhere ...

Lonely planet, lonely star, big solar system

Black hole ejected the width of a galaxy

What's in AJES top

The Australian Journal of Earth Sciences online is available through the Taylor & Francis website. It is very easy to navigate and use.

AJES is available to financial members of the GSA. Don't miss the next issue because your membership has lapsed!

Volume 62 No.7

M. Campbell, G. Rosenbaum, U. Shaanan, C. R. Fielding and C. Allen
The tectonic significance of lower Permian successions in the Texas Orocline (Eastern Australia).

C. C. Wainman, P. J. McCabe, J. L. Crowley and R. S. Nicoll
U-Pb zircon age of the Walloon Coal Measures in the Surat Basin, southeast Queensland: implications for paleogeography and basin subsidence.

Y. A. Kettanah, A. J. Mory, G. D. Wach and M. T. D. Wingate
Provenance of the Ordovician-lower Silurian Tumblagooda Sandstone, Western Australia.

D. Howlett, T. Raimondo and M. Hand
Evidence for 1808-1770 Ma bimodal magmatism, sedimentation, high temperature deformation and metamorphism in the Aileron Province, central Australia.

M. Macphail, L. K. Fifield, B. Pillans, M. Davies and G. Hope
Lake George revisited: New evidence for the origin and evolution of a large closed lake, Southern Tablelands, NSW, Australia.

S. J. Travers and C. J. L. Wilson
Reflectance spectroscopy and alteration assemblages at the Leven Star gold deposit, Victoria, Australia.

M. Forster, R. Armstrong, B. Kohn, G. Lister, M. A. Cottam and S. Suggate
Highly retentive core domains in K-feldspar and their implications for 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology illustrated by determining the cooling curve for the Capoas Granite, Palawan, The Philippines.

Follow this link to see the most recent papers published on-line.

Coming up in TAGtop

TAG for March is in the pipe-line

The March issue of TAG is in production will arrive in your mail sometime mid-March.

Do you have an article or news item for the geological community? If so, make sure you meet the June issue deadline of 18 April. If you are submitting a Feature or Special Report please send your article in as soon as possible and if you need information about word lengths and submitting contact:


Advertising space now available

GSA logo

Advertising positions are now available in Geoz.
Word length: 40-50 words (the shorter the more effective) plus link to a web site.
Text and a small logo linking to your online advert or business.
Logo a maximum of 180 pixels wide x 90 pixels high.
Adverts will run in Geoz for two issues.
Fee: $150.00
For more information:



Call for Papers open - Abstract deadline February 12 2016

Australian Neotectonics: New science for unconventional energy, mineral resources, groundwater, and hazard assessment:
Canberra, 29 February – 1 March 2016

Contact Ken Lawrie for more details

Call for AESC Papers - Abstract deadline extended to February 22 2016

Australian Earth Sciences Convention:
Adelaide 26-30 June 2016

Uncover Earth's past to discover our future

Call for Papers - Abstract deadline March 31 2016

Palaeo Down Under 2:
Adelaide 11-15 July 2016

NSW New Frontiers Cooperative Drilling program, round 2 open November 16 2015 - closes April 29 2016

New Frontiers encourages private exploration drilling programs in the search of mineral deposits in areas of NSW not fully explored and uses the latest technology

Download the PDF flyer here


Business and Financial Management for the Minerals Industry, Townsville, 8 – 19 February 2016

Download the flyer here.

Geospatial Online and Digital Transformation, Canberra, 10 February 2016

Geophysics for the Mineral Exploration Geoscientist, Sydney, 16 – 17 February 2016
The course targets geologists who have had limited training in exploration geophysics

Mount Isa province - Stratigraphic overview, geodynamics and mineral systems, Brisbane, 18 February 2016

Understanding of, and Exploration for, Epithermal and Porphyry Deposits: Transitions and Variations, Townsville, 25 – 26 February 2016
EGRU Short Course for Professional Development

An introduction to porphyry Cu-Au exploration, Orange District NSW, 28 February – 5 March 2016

Australian Neotectonics: New science for unconventional energy, mineral resources, groundwater, and hazard assessment, Canberra, 29 February – 1 March 2016

Contact Ken Lawrie for details.

Introduction to Groundwater: Principles and Practices, Adelaide, 8 – 10 March 2016

AGES 2016, Alice Springs, 15 – 16 March 2016
The 17th Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar

IOCG and Other Mineral Systems in the World-Class Cloncurry District: New Advances in Exploration and Deposit Understanding, Townsville, 16 – 18 March 2016
EGRU Short Course for Professional Development

Introduction to Groundwater: Principles and Practices, Melbourne, 12 – 14 April 2016

Integrated Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing of Exploration Targets, Townsville, 18 – 29 April 2016
EGRU Short Course for Professional Development

Groundwater Modelling for Beginners, Sydney, 9 – 12 May 2016

Introduction to ArcGIS, Sydney, 10 – 12 May 2016

Introduction to Groundwater: Principles and Practices, Perth, 17 – 19 May 2016

35th International Geological Congress, Cape Town South Africa, 24 August – 4 September 2016


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