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Eastern Victoria Geoscience Initiative

The Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV) conducted a low impact regional deep seismic reflection survey in eastern Victoria, during March and April 2018.

The survey forms a major part of a government-funded collaborative scientific research program. It was carried out in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, Geological Survey of New South Wales and AuScope. 

Location of the survey

For about two months a convoy of survey trucks moved slowly through the region along three routes:

  1. Starting south of Benalla and travelling approximately 306 kilometres eastwards towards Tom Groggin and into New South Wales.
  2. Starting north of Benambra and travelling approximately 154 kilometres southeastwards to near Bonang.
  3. Starting west of Bonang and travelling approximately 45km east through Bendoc, continuing east to the coast south of Eden in New South Wales.

These routes are marked in red on the below map.

Map showing the route of the two seismic lines in north-east Victoria, one starting south of Benalla and travelling approx 280km eas and one starting north of Benambra travelling approx 180km south east near Bendoc and into NSW

Seismic Truck Survey convoy driving along a road
Seismic Truck Survey convoy in distance

The survey travelled along public roads, across private properties, Crown land and through national parks. Our scientists and officers worked closely with the community including regional stakeholders and land owners.

Locations close to the survey included Tatong, Molyullah, Edi, Merriang, Rosewhite, Kancoona, Eskdale, Upper Gundowring, Runny Creek, Ovens, Myrtleford, Benambra, Wulgulmerang, Wulgulmerang East, Deddick Valley, Bonang and Bendoc.

What is deep seismic reflection?

Deep seismic reflection is an acoustic technique similar to medical ultrasound scanning and does not cause any damage to the land.

Vibrating plates are attached to specialised trucks and the plates deliver sound down into the ground. Echoes from geology within the Earth are then recorded by an array of specialised microphones (called geophones). 

This data allows us to see the shapes and positions of hidden structures – in this instance the large-scale shapes of rock formations and fault structures to about 50kms depth in the Earth's crust.

What will we do with the data?

The collected seismic data has been processed into images. Geological interpretation of the images will be undertaken by the research team prior to public release of all the data and interpretations later in 2019. 

This survey is part of a long-term program to build large-scale knowledge of Victoria's geological architecture and will focus on rock types, faults and their distribution.

This is the third such seismic reflection survey conducted by the GSV. Two previous deep seismic reflection surveys were conducted in 2006 and 2009 in central and western Victoria respectively.

Next steps

We are planning to carry out a ground gravity survey later this year along the same route. The gravity survey is far less intensive than the seismic survey and will be completed in significantly less time. 

Gravity data complements seismic reflection data by giving geoscientists additional information on the density properties of rocks hidden within the crust. Multiple complementary datasets help produce better quality interpretations of geology. 

Updates regarding the timing and progress of the gravity survey will be published here over the coming months.

Photos of the survey in action

Photos of the truck convoy moving along dirt roads

Images: Convoy of trucks moving along dirt roads.

The survey was featured on Prime7's evening news. You can view the story on their Facebook page.

Fact sheets

Frequently asked questions

Visit the FAQs page to find out more about the initiative.