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March 2010


Echos of 1960 as the rest of the Pacific is spared

The 8.8 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile took place in a part of the South American subduction zone separating the two massive historical earthquakes of 1960 and 1922. It originated about 230 km north of the epicentre of the magnitude 9.5 1960 earthquake, the largest earthquake of the last 200 years or more. That earthquake generated tsunamis that engulfed communities around the Pacific but fears of a 2010 repeat on that scale were not realised. However, tsunamis devastated communities along the adjoining Chilean coast.

Eruptions resume on Montserrat

A massive eruption of Montserrat's Soufrière Hills volcano covered large portions of the island in debris. The eruption was triggered by collapse of the Soufrière Hills lava dome on February 11, 2010.

Montserrat satellite image

Soufrière Hills volcano displays fresh pyroclastic flows
Image courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory

Click on image to view larger version

Have your say on the proposed National Science Curriculum

The draft K-10 Australian Curriculum in English, mathematics, science and history is now available from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The ACARA consultation web page not only provides the draft to read but also gives all interested parties an opportunity to review and provide feedback via an on-line feedback survey. The K-10 consultation process will be open until 23 May 2010 and the draft senior secondary curriculum will be open for feedback from April 2010 to June 2010 on the same site.


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

Australian Capital Territory

Tuesday 16th March
Student Night
Further details from:
David Brown Building (Building 47), Linnaeus Way, ANU 5pm for 5:30pm

South Australia

Thursday 18th March
Joint meeting with Adelaide Branch of AusIMM and annual student BBQ meeting
Mawson Laboratories, Adelaide University. 5.45pm for 6.00pm followed by BBQ


Thursday 25th March
Topic and Speaker: to be advised
Further details from:
Fritz Loewe Theatre, Earth Science Building, University of Melbourne, 6.30pm

Thursday 29th April
Topic and Speaker: to be advised
Further details from:
Fritz Loewe Theatre, Earth Science Building, University of Melbourne, 6.30pm

Western Australia

Wednesday 7th April
Nick Timms, Curtin University of Technology
Geology of ore deposits in the Murchison
Irish Club of WA (Inc), 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco, 5.30pm for 6.00pm

Friday 16th April
Annual Dinner, Swan Brewery
Details to be advised
Further information from:



AESC 2010 logo

Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2010

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


Plenary and keynote speakers include:

Martin Brasier, Professor of Palaeobiology, Oxford University

Patrick De Deckker, Mawson Medal and Lecture, Associate Director, Earth Environment, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

Rob Hough, CSIRO Exploration and Mining

Belinda Robinson, CEO of Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Limited (APPEA)
Biography [PDF 35KB]

Highlighted keynote speakers: Graham Begg, Marco Fiorentini, David Giles, Kliti Grice, Jennifer Heldmann, Richard Henley, Andrew Kohlrusch, Leah Moore, Louis Moresi, Wal Muir, Colin Murray-Wallace, Mike Sandiford, John Schneider, Tim Stern, Mark van Zuilen, Kevin Welsh and James Zachos.


Mudslides play havoc in Madeira

Mudslides and flooding caused substantial damage to roads and homes in the capital, Funchal, and in Ribeira Brava, which are both on the southern portion of the Atlantic island of Madeira, which lies about 600 miles southwest of Portugal.

Carbon storage sites a new exploration target in Gippsland

The sea floor in Bass Strait is being surveyed in a new $5.5 million program to identify potential carbon dioxide storage sites close to LaTrobe Valley coal mining and electricity generation operations.§ion=news

Wallaby sized dinosaur leaps out at Inverloch

Bones of a small plant-eating dinosaur probably the size and shape of a wallaby have been found in the most recent dig at Inverloch, Victoria. It was probably a very fast-running little dinosaur but hind leg bones indicate that it didn't hop!§ion=news

Coal deal adds to the global climate debate

The biggest-ever coal export contract for Australia will see 30 million tonnes of coal annually exported to China for the next two decades, prompting criticism of Australia's climate change policies.


South Australian Uranium free on-line

Geoscience Australia has published new data and a review of geological knowledge of uranium mineral systems in the region of the Beverley, Four Mile and Honeymoon sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in northeastern South Australia.

The English Riviera?

The English Riviera Geopark highlights a landscape of dramatic changes. Discover tropical seas and scorching deserts, raised beaches and drowned forests, exotic megafauna and earliest man — all in southern England!.

The good oil on space

The 41st edition of the Victorian Space Science Education Centre's newsletter explores Earth from space and highlights a host of programs and competitions for Australian students.

ALGA grows on the web

The Australian Land and Groundwater Association (ALGA) have launched a new web site featuring details of their technical program for 2010.

Fire and ice from space

Klyuchevskaya Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula was erupting on February 13 2010 when the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this false-color image.

Lava and Snow on Klyuchevskaya Volcano

Lava and Snow on Klyuchevskaya Volcano
Image courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory

Click on image to view larger version


Why students do and don't choose science

A new report from the University of New England uses the largest study yet undertaken in Australia to investigate the influences on Year 10 students' decisions about whether to take science subjects. The study involved around 590 teachers and 3800 students across the country.

Megafauna extinction debate still alive

New evidence from Cuddie Springs points to a human connection in the extinction of the Australian Pleistocene megafauna.

Cabin fever takes on new meaning

Rock falls from granite cliffs in Yosemite National Park, USA, have forced the closure of historic cabins. National Park Service managers are now trying to figure out a plan for the historic buildings.

Minerals Council encourages the government to do more

The Minerals Council of Australia in its 2010 pre-budget submission calls for a platform for growth based on sustained government spending restraint, systematic improvement in the quality of infrastructure and its regulation and reforms that take full account of sovereign risk.


Vol.57 No.2 February 2010

M. A. McLean, V. J. Morand and R. A. Cayley
Gravity and magnetic modelling of crustal structure in central Victoria: what lies under the Melbourne Zone?

R. P. Bourman, J. R. Prescott, D. Banerjee, N. F. Alley and S. Buckman
Age and origin of alluvial sediments within and flanking the Mt Lofty Ranges, southern South Australia: a Late Quaternary archive of climate and environmental change

J. Roberts and L. James
Stratigraphic relationships of Carboniferous volcanogenic successions in the Clifton_Carroll block, Gunman Ridge and Werrie Syncline, northern Tamworth Belt, southern New England Orogen

Y. You
Climate model evaluation of the contribution of sea surface temperature and carbon dioxide to the Middle Miocene Climate Optimum as a possible analogue of future climate change

J. De Silva and R. A. Smith
Paleovalley hydrogeology and landscape evolution in dryland salinity development and control in southwest Western Australia

T. B. Kidane, M. Fuller and Y-I. Otofuji
Shipboard paleomagnetic age estimates for an acoustic basement emplacement in Marion Plateau, ODP Leg 194, offshore northeast Australia

M. Pownceby
Alteration and associated impurity element enrichment in detrital ilmenites from the Murray Basin, southeast Australia: a product of multistage alteration

L. D. Leader, J. A. Robinson and C. J. L. Wilson
Role of faults and folding in controlling gold mineralisation at Fosterville, Victoria


Call for Nominations – Deadline May 15 2010
The Spackman Award

supporting graduate thesis research in organic petrology
formerly known as the TSOP Student Grants Program

Call for Nominations – Deadline May 21 20100
Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

Five prizes awarded annually for outstanding scientific achievements and excellence in science and science teaching

Geology of GOLD course, 15-19 March 2010

Marine Science Forum, 20-21 March 2010

Living in the Edge

Science at the Surveys, 22 March 2010

Implications for exploration

13th Quadrennial IAGOD Symposium, 6-9 April 2010

Giant Ore Deposits Down-Under Making

The Second Global Geotourism Conference, 17-20 April 2010

Unique Landforms Understandable (MULU)

Caving 2010: 2nd International Symposium on Block & Sublevel Caving, 20-22 April 2010

New seismic and MT datasets in South Australia, 6 May 2010

Results of SA data collected during 2008 and 2009
More information from:

37th Symposium on the Geology of the Sydney Basin, 6-7 May 2010

Oceans' 10 IEEE Sydney, 24-27 May 2010

Showcasing advances in marine science and engineering


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