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August 2009



The Australian east coast was put on tsunami alert recently after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the south-west coast of New Zealand. The alert was downgraded following further analysis but serves as a reminder that the Australian east coast is vulnerable.

... and the ditch got narrower

According to seismologists, the recent 7.8-magnitude quake in the Tasman Sea expanded New Zealand's South Island westwards by about 30 cm but don't expect cheaper airfares across the ditch courtesy of plate tectonics.


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

Australian Capital Territory

18th August 2009, GSA ACT meeting
Dr Gavin Young, Australian National University
Part Two of ‘Early geologists (W.B. Clarke, C. Darwin) and early and recent Devonian fish discoveries on the NSW south coast’
David Brown Lecture Theatre, Building 47 at the ANU, 5:00pm for 5:30pm (drinks from 5pm)
(dinner to follow at Lemon Grass Thai, 65 London Cct in Civic).


GSAQ & AIG at the EKKA, 6–15 August 2009
Visit the National Science Week Pavilion

26th August, Joint GSAQ-AIG (BEDG) Seminar
Callum Lamont (DEEDI) and Dr Jim Beeston (DEEDI)
Coal geology and GSQ’s Influence on Coal Exploration and Mining Trends in Queensland, and Future Aspirations
The Theodore Club, 333 Adelaide St, Brisbane, 5:15 for 6pm

South Australia

20th August, GSA-SA Annual dinner
The Webb and Howchin medals will be presented
The Historian Hotel, 18 Coromandel Place, Adelaide


Thursday 17th September
Dr Steve Micklethwaite
The positives of earthquakes: when stress is worth its weight in gold


27th August, GSAV meeting
Fritz Loewe Theatre, Earth Science Building, University of Melbourne, 5.30pm for 6.15pm

24 September, Selwyn Symposium 2009
Origin of the Australian Highlands

29th October, GSAV meeting
Dr Peter Baines
Ash Clouds and climate consequences from supervolcanic eruptions
Fritz Loewe Theatre, Earth Science Building, University of Melbourne, 5.30pm for 6.15pm

Western Australia

2nd September 2009 GSA WA regular meeting
The Irish Club, 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco, 5.30pm


AESC 2010 logo

Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2010

Earth Systems: change, sustainability, vulnerability
4–8 July 2010, Canberra, ACT



Gravestones tell all

EarthTrek is a new worldwide program developed by the Geological Society of America and a range of national and international partners, including the Geological Society of Australia. It will provide a powerful new tool enabling concerned citizens to assist scientists by collecting data that will help us understand our planet.

Gravestones project image

One EarthTrek project involves visiting and collecting data from graveyards around the globe. Participants will measure the thickness of marble gravestones, or the distance between marble and lead lettering, so that scientists can create a worldwide map of how gravestones are weathering. This information can provide insights into shifts in world pollution levels and climate change over time.

View Melbourne Leader "Grave Tale of Climate" article (10th August).

Caption: By measuring the distance from the top of the lead letters to the weathered marble, and recording the date of the gravestone, citizen scientists can work out a marble weathering rate. Because gravestones are of different ages, scientists can also work out if the rate has changed over time

Credit: Geological Society of America


How big can a hole get?

The massive Hang Son Doong cave, reported in the previous GEOZ is even bigger than first thought.

Mores holes!

Texas is renown for big things. It seems Texas sinkholes are fitting the bill.

Three new dinosaurs rock Queensland

Three new species of Australian dinosaur have been discovered in a prehistoric billabong in Western Queensland.

Dinosaurs dug Victoria, literally!

Recent finds indicates that Victorian dinosaurs may have dug into the soft banks of rivers flowing out of the then rift valley to avoid the cold of the polar winters.

Smoking gun actually a spear?

Forensic evidence suggest a human spear may have been responsible for a Neanderthal death.,8599,1912195,00.html?xid=rss-topstories-cnnpartner

A new Spanish relative

A new hominid genus has been identified from a Miocene Spanish site. It adds yet another dimension to the debate about the origins of our hominid ancestors.

July sunsets in Europe thanks to June eruption in Russia

Russia's Sarychev Peak volcano erupted in mid June resulting in sulfate aerosols that are scattering light in ways that enhance the beauty of sunsets.


AESC is on-line: Get your abstracts in early!

Abstracts for the 2010 AESC can now be submitted on-line. Visit the new AESC website for all the information you need to help make this a great conference.

Bringing science to society

The Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus) is a spin off from the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RiGB) with the charter of bringing science to the people. Housed in the former Adelaide Stock Exchange building it is due to open in October 2009 but you can go on-line now and sign up for their newsletter.

OneGeology gives you the whole world

OneGeology is an international initiative of the geological surveys of the world. Its aim is to create dynamic geological map data of the world available via the web.

Free Uranium

A new 1:10 000 000 scale colour map, Australian Uranium Resources, which shows the uranium resources of geological regions has been released by Geoscience Australia.

Land and Water dries up

As part of the recent budget, Land and Water Australia will be wound up by the end of the year. Now is the last opportunity you will have to download or order their publications.

Image of J Reilly

Exploration geologists can get spaced out

Retired NASA astronaut and former exploration geologist, James Reilly, was recently in Australia on a speaking tour. Here is proof Earth Sciences can take you anywhere!


Caption: Astronaut James F. Reilly, II, mission specialist

Credit: NASA





Stay in tune with CRC developments

The 12th selection round for CRC applications closes soon. Keep in touch with what is happening on-line through the CRC website.

Astrogeologists return to the Moon for Google in time to celebrate Apollo 11

Google Earth 5.0 provides a unique “globe-like” interface that allows users to explore the Moon. This version, using updates provided partially by USGS astrogeologists, provides not only a perspective of the Moon’s surface but also the location of named features and detailed information for the Apollo landing sites.


PM invites the world to Brisbane

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd invites you to the 34th Session of the International Geological Congress (IGC), in Brisbane in August 2012. The video presentation, featuring the PM, has just been launched on the 34th IGC web page, which is a must visit for planning your IGC attendance.

Satellites aid the fire fight

During the February 2009 fire emergency Geoscience Australia provided satellite-derived information to support the emergency response and recovery efforts.

Call for nominations

The Royal Society of NSW is calling for nominations for its 2010 awards; the Clarke Medal (Zoology), the Edgeworth David Medal and a Scholarship Prize for students. Nominations close September 30th 2009.

It's lift off at the Victorian Space Science Education Centre

An Australian university student will have the opportunity to attend one of three NASA Academies through the awarding of the VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize. To apply, students must submit their final year thesis or honours thesis and a completed application form no later than December 7th 2009. In this inaugural year, theses from 2009 and 2008 are being accepted. The thesis does not have to be space related.

Eastern Australia in five easy steps!

Geoscience Australia's Phanerozoic Synthesis Project has worked to tackle the challenges of exploration in eastern Australia through a geodynamic synthesis of the region.


Volume 56 Issue No.7

D J Och, R Offler, H Zwingmann, J Braybrooke & I T Graham: Timing of brittle faulting and thermal events, Sydney region: association with the early stages of extension of East Gondwana

R Offler, D J Och, D Phelan & H Zwingmann: Mineralogy of gouge in north-northeast-striking faults, Sydney region

M S Craig & K Warvakai: Structure of an active foreland fold and thrust belt, Papua New Guinea

J A Giddings, M W Wallace & E M S Woon: Interglacial carbonates of the Cryogenian Umberatana Group, northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia

J H Cann, M F Scardigno & J B Jago: Mangroves as an agent of rapid coastal change in a tidal-dominated environment, Gulf St Vincent, South Australia: implications for coastal management

A Ghasemi & M P Kermani: Structure of the Soresat Metamorphic Complex, North Sanandaj–Sirjan Zone, northwest Iran

N R Daczko, N Harb, R A Portner & J A Dickinson: Geochemical fingerprint of hyaloclasts in glassy fragmental rocks of Macquarie Island (Southern Ocean): implications for volcanogenic sedimentary processes at a waning mid-ocean ridge

N L Neumann, G M Gibson & P N Southgate: New SHRIMP age constraints on the timing and duration of magmatism and sedimentation in the Mary Kathleen Fold Belt, Mt Isa Inlier, Australia

P A Morris & F Pirajno: Chemical fingerprinting of multiple large-scale magmatic events in the Mesoproterozoic Bangemall Supergroup, Western Australia: 6/5/09

F L Sutherland, K Zaw, S Meffre, G Giuliani, A E Fallick, I T Graham & G B Webb: Gem corundum megacrysts, eastern Australia basalt fields: trace elements, O isotopes and origins


Spend a day in Pompeii, 26 June–25 October, 2009

Find out what it was like before, during and after the 24th August 79 AD.

GSAQ & AIG at the EKKA, 6–15 August, 2009

Visit the National Science Week Pavilion

National Science Week, 15–23 August 2009

Ignite your imagination

Rock Festival, 15–23 August 2009

Kalgoorlie students celebrate National Science Week

SGA2009, 17–20 August 2009

10th Biennial meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits

Seventh International Mining Geology Conference, 17–19 August 2009

Julius Kruttschnitt Lecture, 19th August 2009

Leadership, intuition and the X factor

AuScope web services road show, 21st August 2009

BEDG meeting, 25th August 2009

The Geology of the Pinnacles Mine, Broken Hill and the Perserverance Lode discovery
5.15 for 6pm Theodore Club, 333 Adelaide Street Brisbane

HEDG meeting, 25th August 2009

Mineral sequestration of CO2: the need to be viable
6:00pm for 6:30 Customs House, Newcastle

Dinosaur Dig Special, 7–12 September 2009

Fourth International Conference on Mine Closure, 9–11 September 2009

Recent Practical Advances in Mineral Exploration Technology, 11th September 2009

Selwyn Symposium 2009, 24 September 2009

Origin of the Australian Highlands

Broken Hill Exploration Initiative, 29 September–1 October 2009

New insights into exploration geoscience in the Curnamona Province and adjacent areas

Bowen Basin Symposium, 6–8 October 2009

Contact Mr Wes Nichols

First World Young Earth Scientists Congress, 25–28 October 2009

Global climate, environmental and geological challenges facing today’s society

Science EXPOsed, 28–31 October 2009

Free event for Year 8 & 9 students to explore the latest in science and technology and learn more about careers in science.

Kangaroo Island 2009, 8–13 November 2009

Biannual conference of the GSA Specialist Group in Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology

Geoscience 09, 23–27 November 2009

Joint NZ Geological and Geophysical Societies Conference

17th annual World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, 1–4 December, 2009

13th Quadrennial IAGOD Symposium 2010, 6 - 9 April 2010
Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia
Download Conference information | Download Invitation


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