Virtual labs set to deliver breakthrough exploration maps

The Virtual Geophysics Laboratory is the first of a suite of new tools created by AuScope and its partners to harness the potential of the AuScope Grid.

Geoscience Australia’s former senior advisor, Dr Lesley Wyborn, said that once large volumes of data became accessible through the Grid, a new challenge emerged.

“The old way of working was to download data and process it in on your own computers and software. That model worked when we did not have much data to work with, but an entirely new way was needed to make the most of the Grid.

“The new paradigm for data users is ‘ Please enable me in real time to discover, access and process only those parts of multiple files and/or databases that I need, let me do it online using your kit and let me drive it from my tablet or my smart phone.’?”

“The solution was to create virtual laboratories that move the user to the data and enable online processing. It brings together in the most cost effective way; the data, computing power and software, from multiple sources”, Dr Wyborn said.

CSIRO’s Ryan Fraser led development of VGL, with funding through AuScope.

The VGL has already been put to use by Geoscience Australia, which reports that exploration modelling that previously took months to complete can now be conducted in a matter of hours.

CSIRO’s Dr Robert Woodcock said VGL was a dynamic tool, meaning users had complete control over the exploration maps they generate.

“The user selects the data they want, the processing algorithms and computer resources that conduct and monitor the work.

“I believe it will have a huge role to play with State geological surveys. Now that industry and researchers have access to so much more data through the AuScope Grid, the surveys will see demand for many more products. With VGL, industry can do the work for itself and create products that were previously unavailable.”

He said South Australia’s Geological Survey was already developing an initiative known as REVeaLing SA.

“It is effectively the VGL with some additional data types for minerals exploration. It is still at the concept stage, but the opportunity to build this type of service is now available thanks to AuScope. We are on the cusp of seeing the next generation of pre-competitive exploration products for industry.”

Case Study : Virtual labs, Maps, Exploration

Category: Grid Geoscience Information Infrastructure