AuScope was designed to put Australia at the forefront of international geoscience and geospatial research and to create geoscience applications for a generation. Its aim was to assist in building Australia’s wealth through improved and sustainable discovery, development and management of our minerals, energy and groundwater assets. It looked to provide a step-change in our ability to spatially map Australia’s location and internal deformation; in particular enhancing our ability to contribute to natural hazard prediction and management, both here and for our immediate neighbours.
AuScope contributes significantly to all aspects of Australia’s environmental monitoring and management, and provides a platform for innovative commercial developments in the spatial, minerals, energy and water industries.
AuScope Limited is a non-profit company formed to facilitate the implementation of a world-class infrastructure system for Earth science through the delivery of a range of technologies and capabilities in data acquisition, management, modelling and simulation across the geospatial and geoscience spectrum.
In 2007 AuScope was awarded $42.8 million by the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) as Capability 5.13, Structure and Evolution of the Australian Continent. In addition to its NCRIS funding, over $70 million in co-investment has been committed by AuScopes partners. In addition to its NCRIS funding, over $70 million in co-investment has been committed by AuScope’s partners. Additionally, in 2010 AuScope was awarded $23 million under the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Round 3 to create a new Australian Geophysical Observing System (AGOS). AGOS was designed to enable collection of new baseline data including surface geospatial and subsurface imaging and monitoring data, in order to provide an understanding of the physical state of the accessible crust of the Australian continent. The Government’s $23 million investment is leveraging a further $82 million from the project partners. AuScopeis comprised of 23 partners including CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, 11 universities, and state government agencies.
The NCRIS investment
Through the initial NCRIS investment six components were identified that covered the main science and infrastructure delivery needs.
- AuScope grid and interoperability
- Earth composition and evolution
- National virtual core library
- Earth imaging and structure
- Earth simulation and modelling
- Geospatial framework and earth dynamics
Further investment through EIF
AuScope’s Australian Geophysical Observing System (AGOS) was funded through the Education Investment Fund (EIF3) and designed to augment existing NCRIS AuScope infrastructure with new capability that focuses particularly on emerging geophysical energy issues. This targeted investment will deliver an integrated observing system across the nation involving:
- Geospatial Observatory analysis of surface responses to sub-surface activity
- Geospatial Equipment Pool
- Earth Sounding Network imaging of the crust
- Subsurface Observatory accessing the subsurface
- Geohistory Laboratory constraining time dependence
- Inversion Laboratory adding value to the data
- Geophysical Education Observatory explaining the purpose
AGOS added new capabilities as the first national subsurface observatory, designed to allow geoscience researchers to conduct experiments at depths of up to 5 km.
Although separate in disciplines all components form a cohesive interlinked system. A more detailed description of the infrastructure, available research opportunities and outcomes from each of the components can be found on the various component pages.
The original NCRIS investment was complete at June 2014, however parts of the program continue to receive support for ongoing operations and maintenance of the infrastructure.
Overall, AuScope has exceeded expectations in delivering on its goals and, through the AGOS program, the NCRIS infrastructure has been enhanced to provide new capability that focuses on emerging challenges such as geophysical energy issues.