Maintaining Geoscience Knowledge and Capability


Properly collected and archived data have an enduring value. It is essential these data are collected through appropriate means and are available in a format that is understandable and accessible. 

These data are acquired from a range of platforms including satellites, observatories and laboratory instruments. Data from individual observatories or individual samples can be integrated to build models of our continent, Antarctica, island territories and surrounding oceans.

Our Role

Ensure geoscientific and geospatial data, information and collections are gathered, managed and made accessible for the use of all Australians both now and into the future.

Desired outcomes

  • Australia's geoscience data, information and collections are managed and maintained.
  • Australia's geoscience data, information and collections are discoverable and accessible as a public resource for informed decision making.
  • Australia has as an established infrastructure to ensure the ongoing collection of fundamental geoscience data.

Work Activities and Capability

Geoscience Promotion, Education and Awareness

Greater understanding of geoscience and its application to issues of national importance builds capacity for geoscience to underpin evidence-based policies and decision-making. Geoscience Australia undertakes a range of activities to engage with our stakeholders and the Australian community to educate, promote and improve awareness of geoscience and its benefits.

Geoscience Australia's work includes the development of teaching resources and delivery of educational activities, a library that provides services to industry, universities, research centres and the public, and hosting events to promote and support Earth and National Science Weeks.

Geoscience Australia is also a leader in the use of innovative technologies to share geoscience information, including multimedia and interactive 3D viewing technologies.


Geoscience Australia operates and maintains networks of observatories to acquire and deliver data about the Earth. The information is used to monitor land use, develop agriculture, help discover new mineral and energy resources, ensure our water security, and respond to natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami and bushfires. It also provides essential information about global positioning and navigation systems.

Core to Geoscience Australia's observatories work is the Alice Springs satellite ground station that provides 24 hour, 7 days a week operational capability to acquire, process and deliver Earth observation satellite data. Geoscience Australia also maintains and continuously monitors essential geophysical networks to support seismic monitoring activities.

Geoscience Australia's work will focus on maintaining and operating the observatory networks whilst undertaking a range of initiatives and projects to develop capability and improve performance through enhanced service delivery. This includes updating or replacing essential site infrastructure, seismic instruments and data delivery systems.

Petroleum Data Repository

It is a requirement under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 that petroleum exploration and production companies submit offshore data and petroleum samples to the Australian Government. The enduring value of this petroleum data and sample collection is essential to Australia's exploration industry and supports Australia's future prosperity.

Geoscience Australia is responsible for the stewardship and management of the data and samples and has developed the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System (NOPIMS) as an online data discovery and delivery system for all Australian offshore wells and seismic surveys.

Work will focus on enhancing data management principles, further develop and expand the capability and scope of NOPIMS, and improve client access.

Science Support

Geoscience Australia's Science Support activities provide the analytical, technical, engineering and logistical services that underpin the organisation's science and overall work program.

Science support work will provide geophysical and geochemical datasets demonstrating hydrocarbon prospectivity in offshore acreage release areas; geochemistry and geochronology (rock ages) supporting baseline geological mapping by state and territory geological surveys; and sonar mapping and analysis and geochemistry of sea-floor samples from around Australia and Antarctica that enable broad mapping of seafloor ecosystems and the identification of vulnerable areas.

Strategic Priorities and Performance Criteria

Geoscience Australia's work program is delivered through six key strategic priority areas. Each priority area outlines the role of the organisation, the desired outcomes to be achieved, and the core work activities and capabilities.

Geoscience Australia's performance will be assessed using a number of qualitative and quantitative measures to communicate a comprehensive view of performance that will be presented in the organisation's annual performance statement. Performance measures will include assessment against key work deliverables, key performance indicators and case studies.

Deliverables 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Geoscience Promotion, Education and Awareness        
Undertake activities to promote, educate and create awareness of geoscience and its benefits
Deliver an updated version of the Australian / International Geomagnetic Reference Field model      
Deliver Macquarie Island Geomagnetic and Seismic modernisation project      
Achieve Landsat 9 Landsat Ground Network operational readiness      
Deliver geomagnetic and seismic data delivery systems upgrade project      
Operate national network of observatories
Operate Alice Springs satellite ground station
Petroleum Data Repository        
Operate the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System for the discovery and delivery of petroleum data and samples
Complete integration of legacy physical asset management system into the National Offshore Petroleum Information Management System      
Science Support        
Deliver analytical data to support Geoscience Australia's science activities
Key Performance Indicators 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Data availability from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty network 98% 98% 98% 98%
Data availability from the seismic network 90% 90% 90% 90%
Data availability from the geomagnetic networks 98% 98% 98% 98%
Alice Springs Observatory scheduled satellite passes acquired 98% 98% 98% 98%
Repository Client Services requests are responded to within 7 business days 90% 92% 94% 96%
New Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 submissions are catalogued within 5 working days 90% 92% 94% 96%