Geoscience: Beneath the Australian Alps

[Vision: wide shot of mountains tilt down to reveal man]

Clive Willman - geologist

This is the Snowy River National Park. It is a vast and magnificent landscape. But even all that we see here is just a tiny part of the Earth’s crust.

[Vision: Clive walks along outcrop]

We can walk this country and study these rocks, and imagine the massive forces that raised these mountains.  But unless we look deeper, kilometres below the surface, we will never know the full story of how our continent evolved.


[Vision: Man carries papers into room]

[Vision: Montage of scientists looking at large plans]

Unidentified man

Look at that!

[Vision: Montage of truck drivers hopping into trucks]

[Vision: Trucks starts]

[Vision: Overhead Drone footage]

[Vision Film Title: BENEATH THE AUSTRALIAN ALPS, The Southeast Lachlan Crustal Scale Transect]

[Vision: Camera pans across large plan image]

[Vision: Scientists looking at large plans]

Ross Cayley - Geological Survey of Victoria Senior Geologist

Yep that's right. There's literally 100 million years of geology sitting in this bit. It's like time travel.

It’s really well, it’s pretty well-defined here. Then suddenly it’s gone. Very interesting!

Unidentified woman


Cameron Cairns - Geological Survey of Victoria, Manager Minerals Geoscience

[Vision: Scientists looking at large plans]

It’s pivotal that we’ve got people with really sound and solid field experiences that have seen these rocks. But we’ve also got some of the newer generation too, which are unbelievable at taking some of these data sets and pulling them together.

[Vision: Cameron Cairns speaking to camera in room of scientists]

And it’s that coalescence of skills and knowledge that is helping us get the most out of the interp.

[Vision: Scientists looking at large plans]


The interp that Cameron Cairns is talking about is the interpretation of a massive amount of new data.

This data will help to reveal the land’s ancient origins.

[Vision: Still photo of geologists on horseback circa 1904]

[Vision: Still photo of geologists with 4WD vehicles circa 2004]

Understanding the composition of the deep crust has long been a quest for Australian geoscientists.

[Vision: Man looks and points at image on computer screen]

But now with new tools and a collaborative approach they’ve made it possible.

Clive Willman

[Vision: Clive Willman walks along creek bed with rocky outcrop in background]

The Geological Survey has always been able to study rocks near the surface, like these.

But to truly understand the origins of the land, they needed to look deeper  than ever before, not just a few kilometres, but tens of kilometres down.

To do this they needed help. So the Geological Survey of Victoria brought together the resources and expertise of Geoscience Australia, a scientific group called AuScope and the Geological Survey of NSW. Together they share a common goal

[Vision: Graphic of Australia showing location of New South Wales and Victoria]

to understand the geological architecture of the southeastern part of our continent.

[Vision: Dr Tim Rawling speaks in room full of plans]

Dr Tim Rawling - Chief Executive Officer, AuScope

One of things that academics in Australia are particularly interested in is the evolution of the Australian continent.

[Vision: Montage of scientists looking at plans]

And to be able to analyse that and do research into that, they need to be able to image the very deep parts of the continent and look at what the building blocks are that came together to create the Australia that we know today.


These geoscientists are investigating the origins of south-east Australia.

[Vision: Scientist sweeps hand across plan and talks]

It’s almost like a diffuse zone building here ….

[Vision: Ross Costello interview - scientists work in background]

Ross Costelloe - Senior Geophysicist, Geoscience Australia

Okay we have theories about how the continents put together and we have models based on that. Based on what we can see on the surface. But you don’t know how they are connected at depth.

[Vision: Graphic showing gravity and magnetic images of Victoria]


The connections between surface and buried rocks is commonly revealed using gravity and magnetic data.

[Vision: Geoscientists examine plans]

Dr Bob Musgrave is  a Senior Geophysicist with the Geological Survey of New South Wales.

[Vision: Graphic showing magnetic image of Victoria and New South Wales - yellow line highlights curve]

And he saw something in new magnetic data that was quite remarkable, a huge curve in the rocks, on a continental scale.

[Vision: Ross Cayley walks along road  - Brothers Mountain in background]

This inspired Ross Cayley from the Geological Survey of Victoria to start thinking big.

[Vision: Ross Cayley on beach near creek]

Ross Cayley

Imagine this edge of the water here is the east coast of Australia where we are standing today. So that coast sort of heads down to Wilson’s Prom and Melbourne’s in here and western Victoria’s over there. We started the survey north of Melbourne and we proceeded all the way to the east coast.


Ross realised Bob’s revelation could explain some perplexing rock structures recently mapped in Victoria.

[Vision: Ross Cayley draws rough map in sand]

Ross Cayley

And the idea in doing that was to test the idea that we've got geology that's wrapped in a giant fold at Victoria scale.


[Vision: Magnetic image of Southeast Australia with overlay of Victorian geology map]

When Ross combined Bob’s data with the Victorian mapping what he saw was almost unbelievable,

[Vision: Magnetic image of Southeast Australia with overlay of Victorian geology map with curved lines outlining the orocline]

New South Wales and Victoria seemed to be part of a huge fold, called an orocline.

[Vision: Ross Cayley at beach]

Ross Cayley

The Lachlan Orocline model suggests that about 430 million years ago these giant vertically plunging folds with amplitudes over a 1000 kilometres were formed in eastern Australia.

[Vision: Scientists examine plans]


A by-product of large folds on the scale of an orocline would be vertical faults. And the Geological Survey has actually mapped some vertical faults, at the surface.

[Vision: Rotating 3D model of Victoria showing faults in eastern Victoria]

But if formed by an orocline they would be huge - and extend all the way to the base of the crust.

[Vision: Mountainous Landscape - Snowy River National Park

So how does a geologist explore the earth’s crust on this scale?

[Vision: Clive Willman walks to camera in front of Brothers Mountain]

Clive Willman

I could look at the outcrops in those mountains behind me, to try and work out what lies immediately beneath my feet, I could even drill a diamond drill hole down a kilometre or so.

But to work out the structure of the deep crust, down to say 40km

[Vision: Clive Willman walks kneels to reveal a plastic geophone embedded in the ground]

then I need something very special.

And it’s called a seismic reflection survey.


[Vision: Montage starting of large Vibroseis trucks - truck lowers pad to road surface]

The trucks lower their pads and start vibrating. And this creates energy enough to send waves down

[Vision: Clive Willman on road with Vibroseis trucks approaching]

through the Earth as far as 40 kilometres or more. And the waves bounce back from layers upon layer beneath us, until they reach the surface - in a matter of seconds.

[Vision: Montage of Vibroseis trucks]


This technology is just like an ultrasound scan. But this scan is on a huge scale - and the source of energy is the Vibroseis trucks, or Vibes.

[Vision: Vibroseis truck on dirt road reveals faint pad mark]

These giants may be large but they have a tiny footprint.

[Vision: Ross Cayley interview in bush setting]

Ross Cayley

It’s a listening technique. So there’s an array of microphones, that are pressed into the ground. One every ten metres, and they’re laid out for 6 kilometres in front and behind where the trucks are operating.

[Vision: Close up of plastic geophone called node]

[Vision: Worker stamps node into ground]


The tiny companions to the giants are called geophones, specialised microphones that listen to the earth.

[Vision: Vibroseis truck passes node]

[Vision: Ross Cayley interview in bush setting]

Ross Cayley

And even though the tracks here are really difficult,

[Vision: Vibroseis truck crosses dry creek bed]

we’ve been really lucky because um we’re getting the acquisition done,

[Vision: Vibroseis truck on nice day and close up of pad]

and we’ve got absolutely perfect weather and it’s completely quiet. The only thing you can hear are birds chirping and flies buzzing

[Vision: Ross Cayley interview in bush setting]

and that’s not a problem for the geophones.

[Vision: animated graphic showing how trucks generate sound waves which bounce of layers at depth to return to geophones]


Without interference from wind and rain the geophones are able to listen for the tiny vibrations reflected from buried rocks.

By combining all these reflections, a gigantic vertical image of rock strata is created.

[Vision: Magnetic image of Southeast Australia with overlay of Victorian geology map with curved lines outlining the orocline]

And the team is hoping they’ll find evidence for the huge folds already seen in the magnetic and mapping data.

[Vision: Ross Cayley talks at beach]

Ross Cayley

The formation of these folds involved geology being transported south by thousands of kilometres

[Vision: Pan across seismic image]

and we should be able to see these patterns in the rock record right down to 40 kilometres depth.

[Vision: Ross Cayley and Clive Willman looking at sections at Seismic workshop]

So it's only still a preliminary interpretation but you can see there's some very distinctive reflectivity here, that changes markedly in character to the west.  And so it is possible to draw sub-vertical faults heading down, right down into the lower crust in fact.

[Vision: 3D image of Victoria showing faults and location of seismic section]


These huge faults have been a mystery since they were first mapped in the 1960s

[Vision: animation showing development of orocline in southeast Australia]

but now, they might be explained by the Orocline model which theorises a massive southward motion.

As crust was drawn southward it began to wrap around the much older Tasmanian crust - this movement forced adjacent areas to shear - thus creating the deep vertical faults.

[Vision: fade to 3D Map of Victoria showing vertical faults]

The team targeted features like these when planning the survey

[Vision: Montage of Vibroseis trucks in mountainous landscape]

So if they can produce detailed enough seismic imagery, it will be a powerful tool to examine the formation of southeastern Australia. There’s only one problem – the trucks must cross the continent’s most mountainous region – the Great Dividing Range.

Ross Cayley

And the idea is that we want to shoot seismic over the geology that gives us the best chance of solving the scientific questions we’ve posed for the project.

[Vision: Ross Cayley in bush setting]

It’s hilly here, and so the rocks we want to study stick out of the ground. So we’ve already looked at the rocks as geologists and now we can take seismic data to take that understanding deeper.

[Vision: Montage of Vibroseis trucks in mountainous landscape]

[Vision: 3D gamma of Victoria showing location of seismic survey line on geology map]


When the surface geology is well-mapped and well understood it is easier to extend that knowledge down, using the seismic data.

[Vision: Ross Cayley in bush setting]

Ross Cayley

So what we want to do is to thread the needle between geology that’s meaningful and tracks that allow us to image it in the best possible way.

[Vision: Truck crosses timber bridge - camera looks up]


To create images like this in such mountainous country the team needed a new technology that was both flexible and lightweight.

[Vision: Crew unloading and distributing nodes]

[Vision: Morgan Chen at harvester site]

Morgan Chen - Client Support Manager, Dynamic Technologies (DTCC)

With the nodal system it can be plant easily.

Around here there is GPS receiver.

[Vision: Crew unloading and distributing nodes]


As well as the seismic data each node records its own GPS position and time.

Morgan Chen

So the timing accuracy, even every millisecond is very important.

[Vision: Crew unloading and distributing nodes]


The depth of different strata is calculated using the delay time of reflected waves.

[Vision: Morgan Chen at harvester site]

Morgan Chen

The feature of node is designed as,  tough.

[Vision: Montage of node layout crew]


In a never-ending dance, a large crew keeps the nodes moving along with the vibes.

The chief choreographer of this dance, is Ryan Newbould.

[Vision: Ryan Newbould talking to Ross Cayley]

Ryan Newbould - Layout Supervisor, Terrex Seismic

Dig that in, kick that in, Trimble it while the vibrator’s still doing pack-map style (laughs)


His position at the head of the procession, means he is often the one who encounters the general public.

[Vision: Ryan Newbould talking to Jeromy Adams, member of public]

Ryan Newbould

Over the last say 10 or so years, where all these little blue lines are, they’ve done seismic surveys, And this is the last one to sort of piece together their puzzle of what’s been happening over the last say, 500 million years.

[Vision: 3D  map of Victoria showing location of previous seismic surveys]


Earlier Surveys have already tested western and central Victoria giving us an entirely knew understanding of Victoria’s geological architecture. So to complete the survey of Victoria, the 2018 line crossed the Australian Alps and finished on the east coast. This will build on earlier work to help us understand the formation of south-east Australia.  It will also help with more modern scientific questions.

[Vision: Ryan Newbould talking to Jeromy Adams, member of public]

Jeromy Adams - Member of Public

So does this, does this warn us of stuff in the future? Is that what it’s doing?

Ryan Newbould

It could. It could as well, yeah, yeah for sure.

[Vision: Ross Cayley in bush setting]

Ross Cayley

And one of the reasons we’re interested in understanding the geometry of the faults is because they can they can contribute to understanding the earthquake hazards for the region.

[Vision: Landscape footage of Alps]

and that might be important for developing management plans for reservoirs, dams and, that sort of infrastructure.


Surprisingly, the Victorian Alps is a young and dynamic landscape. Some uplift happened as long as 80 million years ago, but most uplift is very recent and is ongoing.

[Vision: Animation showing the Earth - New Zealand shown pushing Australia from east]

In the last 6 million years the Pacific Plate along New Zealand has been pushing towards Australia. The Australian Alps are rising further reactivating ancient faults and causing occasional earthquakes.

[Vision: Dr Tim Rawling in office setting]

Dr Tim Rawling - Chief Executive Officer, AuScope

So we think of Australia as being a very stable continent.

[Vision: Hilly landscape]

But we do know there have been some very significant earthquakes in Australia, in recorded history, and in human history.

[Vision: Overhead shot of water]

In fact, not too far from where the survey was taken there was a very very large earthquake about 40,000 years ago, that dammed the Murray River. So understanding the deeper geology

[Vision: Dr Tim Rawling in office setting]

may allow us to get a better understanding of some of the faults that are active in this region.

[Vision: Seismic crew member Jamie Walker walking in bush setting]

Jamie Walker - Crew member, Terrex Seismic

Trimbling (laughs) so I’m going through and making sure the nodes are in the correct order and all accounted for and if there’s any issues, catch em.

Compared to the usual places that we work at this has been really beautiful we generally just get to see the flat parts of South Australia so being in the Victoria Highlands is a nice change. Walking you know, six to seven kilometres a day, trimbling.

[Vision: Utility vehicle travels along road and arrives at Harvester truck]


The new nodal technology meant that this survey collected more data than any previous onshore survey.

[Vision; Nelson Castillo walks into Harvester truck]

Nelson Castillo - Seismic Observer, Nodal specialist, Terrex Seismic

This is the harvester truck, so this is where everything gets downloaded and collected. We have in here the battery chargers, the battery charging station and the data downloaders.

[Vision: Crew unloading and processing nodes]


Hundreds of nodes are processed every day.

Once disassembled the node’s data is downloaded and it goes to Nelson for cross-checking with the Trimble GPS and time data.

[Vision; Nelson Castillo sitting at his desk with computer]

Nelson Castillo

So as soon as they come off the rack and if they’re downloaded we check to see that everything matches.

[Vision: Louis Coleshill enters Quality Control Van]


Nelson then passes the data to Louis for quality control

[Vision: Nodes blinking at night]

and because the nodes are left out overnight they also record natural seismic activity, resulting in a massive amount of new information for the team.

Nelson Castillo

and if everything they say they have brought has been downloaded, that’s it, the load gets put together assembled and out the door it goes again.

[Vision: Node Ute drives off]


The main use of the seismic data is to visualise

[Vision: Animation showing development of orocline in south-east Australia]

large-scale structures in the earth.

[Vision: Montage of underground gold mine - men examine quartz veins]

So features like mineral deposits are usually too small to be seen

but by understanding the evolution of the continent it’s possible to have a much better understanding of the formation of those resources.

[Vision: Dr Tim Rawling at Seismic Workshop]

Dr Tim Rawling - Chief Executive Officer, AuScope

So there is a case for doing this in support of the exploration industry but the research questions are really much bigger and really relate to how continents evolve,

[Vision: Mountainous landscape footage]

how mountains form, how continents get torn apart during extension.

[Vision: Clive Willman sitting on rock]

Clive Willman

If the orocline model is correct, another by-product of it’s movement is crustal extension. And when that happens

[Vision: Clive Willman picks up two flat rocks and pulls them apart]

the crust becomes thinner and it can even create an area called a rift, which could be a broad valley.

[Vision: Clive Willman places rocks on ground and points to the area between them]

And because the crust under the rift is thin it allows volcanic material to come to the surface, filling parts of the rift. And the rift can sink and so the sea can invade depositing marine sediments and even limestone.

[Vision: 3D graphic showing location of Buchan Rift in eastern Victoria in relation to seismic data]

And this is exactly what’s happened in the Buchan Rift area of eastern Victoria 400 million years ago.

[Vision: Ross Cayley and Clive Willman look at Seismic Sections]

Ross Cayley

this is the first time we've been able to have seismic reflection data available to test ideas like the formation of the Buchan Rift. So we have some surface control on where the rift is. And now with this seismic reflection data we can actually see the quite reflective rift-fill continuing down to its position here marked in blue - so this is the first time we've actually had evidence that shows us what the shape and thickness of this rift really looks like.

[Vision: Deep valley - Vibroseis trucks in distance]

Dr Tim Rawling

So the reflection seismic gives us that incredibly detailed transect through the geology.

[Vision: 3D images of eastern Victoria showing seismic sections & faults

You can’t understand the geology and the history of the continent if you don’t have that three-dimensional component. It’s kind of like trying to understand what the human body would look like without having X-rays or MRI machines.

[Vision: Ross Costello discussing seismic plans with colleagues at Seismic Workshop]

Ross Costelloe - Senior Geophysicist, Geoscience Australia

With the sort of scale of seismic data we collect, full crustal,

[Vision: Geoscientists look at very large seismic section plans]

you'll have a three metre long section to look at one to 100,000 scale. But if you want to get the big picture, you really need paper. Ah it's an old fashioned way of doing it but it gives you much better control over the big structures which is what we're looking for.

[Vision: Ross Costelloe interview - scientists work in background]

These surveys always give us surprises, and that’s why we do them, because we don’t know what’s there and we’re learning stuff all the time.

[Vision: Ross Cayley and Clive Willman look at Seismic Sections]

Ross Cayley

And what's interesting is that there are additional sub-vertical changes, which we haven't actually recognised in the geology before, even within the Tabberabbera Zone.

[Vision: Ross Cayley gestures to seismic section close-up]

We know from the mapping that there’s a terrain boundary between old crust with Tasmanian affinity it dates into the West and younger crust with Oceanic increasing affinity to the east.

[Vision: Graphic showing portion of seismic section annotated with ‘Tasmanian crust’ and ‘Oceanic Crust, Tabberabbera Zone’]

And this interface that that sort of structuring we can see in there which seems to be some sort of fault combination of the two different terrains pushed towards the surface and towards the west that is just simply world class imagery in seismic reflection data.

[Vision: Montage of scientists working at seismic workshop]

Cameron Cairns - Manager Minerals Geoscience, Geological Survey of Victoria

There’s nothing better than getting around the

[Vision: Cameron Cairns at Seismic workshop, scientists in background]

maps and sections with pencils in hand and having a robust debate with colleagues about what it might mean.

[Vision: Montage of people using pencils on seismic sections]


Something as low-tech as coloured pencil to paper seems to be the best way to synchronise the creative and varied technical skills of the team.

[Vision: Dr Alison Kirkby lectures scientists about seismic and Magnetotelluric studies]

For example, Geophysicist Dr Alison Kirkby is an expert in what’s known as Magnetotellurics, which measures the electrical properties of rocks at the scale of the continent.

[Vision: Dr Alison Kirkby at seismic workshop speaks to camera]

Dr Alison Kirkby - Geoscientist, Geoscience Australia

This image here tells us about how well the rocks reflect sound, but the resistivity is a different property that tells how they conduct electricity so it’s an independent constraint on the rocks. You might have two different rocks that are similar in the seismic. If you have the resistivity then that might be able to highlight differences between the two.

[Vision: geoscientist look at geophysical images on computer screen]

[Vision: Geophysicists in the field set up gravity meter]


So different geophysical techniques are used to measure different properties of rocks over large areas.

[Vision: Geophysicists point out features on gravity images]

Gravity data can be used to check the density of rocks.

[Vision: Image of portion of of magnetic map in New South Wales]

Magnetic data can help to distinguish packages of rock in a seismic section that otherwise look the same.

[Vision: Mountainous landscape footage]

And so all these methods complement the seismic data helping to build a more accurate picture of the crust over a much broader area.

[Vision: Tanya Fomin discusses seismic sections with colleagues at seismic workshop]

Tanya Fomin - Senior Research Scientist, Geoscience Australia

Well, probably at the limit …


This has to have been one of the most challenging onshore seismic surveys completed in Australia. Seismic expert Tanya Fomin had to carefully assess all the challenges.

[Vision: Tanya Fomin talks to camera with scientist working in background]

Tanya Fomin

When we looked at the route on the map I thought it’s not possible to do it all.

[Vision: Montage of Vibes crossing creek - traversing difficult terrain]


When Tanya and the team got on the ground they realised, that   the help of land managers, local experts and communities, it was possible to design a safe route, despite the rugged terrain.

Tanya Fomin

Everything has come together

[Vision: Tanya Fomin talks to camera with scientist working in background]

so we’ve put the very good team in Victoria, very good team in New South Wales in the Canberra, in Geoscience Australia as well, people who actually wanted to actually make it happen, plus we have very experienced contractor.

[Vision: June the Vibroseis driver inspects truck for potential problems]

[Vision: Stephane Mallard, Vibroseis mechanic, points to underside of truck]

Stephane Mallard - Vibe Mechanic, Terrex Seismic

Yesterday we found out there was an oil seal leaking from the drive box. So we changed the uni because there was, yeah a little bit of play.

[Vision: Alan Fuller and Stephane Mallard stand beside Vibroseis truck]

Alan Fuller - Vibe Driver, Terrex Seismic

Oh great, it’s been a challenge, and you know, it’s a long job but we stayed busy and it went quick.

[Vision: Go-Pro shot of vibes traversing mountainous road]

Why are they doing this job, to give a bit of an insight onto , how the Earth moves.

[Vision: June in cabin driving]

[Vision: Alan Fuller and Stephane Mallard stand beside Vibroseis truck]

Stephane Mallard - Vibe Mechanic, Terrex Seismic

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday yeau. Off to Brissy and I fly home, back to France and I take 3 months break (laughs).

[Vision: Ryan Newbould sitting in ute eating sandwich]

Ryan Newbould - layout supervisor, Terrex Seismic

Pretty much the staple sandwich all across Victoria and New South Wales. Cheese chutney, ham. Cheese, chutney, lamb. Cheese chutney beef.

[Vision: Drone shot rises above trucks at Harvester camp - sea becomes visible in the distance]

Ross Cayley

Ah look it's a sort of mixture of excitement and relief in a way so relief that the project went so well, we had to have a lot of things go in our favour. We were blessed with really good weather we had a fantastic crew and the logistics just panned out really superbly.

[Vision: Porpoises gambling in sea]

[Vision: Ryan and Morgan Chen prepare planting the last nodes on the beach]

Ryan Newbould

Here goes the last, the last one.

Morgan Chen

It’s my honour to lay out the last node.

Ryan Newbould

No worries mate

[Vision: Morgan stamps on the last node on the beach]

Morgan Chen

Thank you, here, alright, fair enough.

[Vision: Ryan and Morgan high five]

Ryan Newbould This is all for science (laughs).

[Vision: Ross Cayley talks to camera o the beach - Kangaroos in background]

Ross Cayley

And the exciting part is now we've got in the can. Heaps and heaps of fantastic deep seismic reflection data and we can use this data, that's what we anticipate, to test all these geological and geodynamic models for eastern Australia and Victoria specifically that we've been working on for years and years.

[Vision: Crew walk onto beach]

It takes lots of people to pull something like this together and you know if anyone drops the ball it doesn't work as well as it could. And everyone really hit the ball out of the park with this one

[Vision: Ross and Alan Fuller chat on the beach]

Just like at the start of the survey we get to see the results from these nodes and compare them with the rocks that stick out of the ground. That’s been the whole purpose of the whole thing.

[Vision: Crew looking out to Tasman Sea]

from the acquisition crew to the design the processing.

[Vision: Crew embrace on beach]

So we have to sort of do justice to it now with a really good geological interpretation.

[Vision: Geoscientist work with plans at seismic workshop]


With these data and results the team can assess the Orocline model. They’ve seen the massive vertical faults and now they see something else that may have driven the orocline itself.

[Vision: Ross Cayley and Clive Willman look at seismic section on floor at seismic workshop]

Ross Cayley

Now what’s exciting about this is that this region is of oceanic character and it’s dominated by early west-dipping faults and we can see some of those in the seismic data.  Unbelievably below the base of the crust imaged here in about twelve seconds we can see the faintest hints of possibly a fossil subduction zone trace, dipping to the west underneath. And we have to do some more work to confirm if that's the case but if that's true this is a really fantastic result   because that is the geodynamic driver for all the structure.

[Vision: Landscape shot from drone]


For the first time the team have extraordinary seismic images that extend more than 40km below south-east Australia. These images will be combined with other geoscience information. And together, they will test the orocline model, and it’s influence on the geology of our continent.

[Vision: Clive Closing Piece to Camera sitting on rocks]

Clive Willman

This amazing data was collected from the placement of 63,000 geophones across the mountains of southeastern Australia.

Applied geoscience like this enables scientists and everyone to understand faults, earthquakes, potential resources - and the evolution of the place we live in.

[Vision: Cameron Cairns on the beach]

Cameron Cairns - Manager Minerals Geoscience, Geological Survey of Victoria

Just absolutely rapt, ecstatic. We've just travelled six hundred twenty nine kilometres from the Murray Basin, south of Benalla, across the Great Dividing Range and we find ourselves now on the, on the east coast of Australia on the Tasman Sea.

[Vision: Vibes crawl along mountain road]

And we can really start putting the final pieces of the jigsaw into place on how Victoria and southeastern Australia has evolved from an ocean 500 million years ago to the landscapes that we see today including those mountains that are the Great Dividing Range.

[Vision: Credits roll over vision of nodes blinking at night on the beach- credit text as follows;

We recognise the traditional owners of the land on which this survey was acquired, and the film was made and produced

  • Scientific Team
  • Geological Survey of Victoria
  • Ross Cayley, Cameron Cairns, Phil Skladzien, Suzanne Haydon, David Taylor, Dr Mark McLean, David Higgins, Luong Tran, Paul McDonald
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Tanya Fomin, Ross Costelloe, Tristan Kemp, Ed Gerner, Dr Alison Kirkby, Duan Jingming, Dr Michael Doublier, Marina Costelloe, Tom Pickett
  • AuScope
  • Dr Tim Rawling, Prof Malcolm Sambridge
  • Geological Survey of New South Wales
  • Dr Bob Musgrave, Dr Ned Stolz, Astrid Carlton, Phil Gilmore, Dr Giovanni Spampinato,
  • Dr John Greenfield, Dr Chris Yeats
  • Film Production Team
  • Director: Davide Michielin
  • Producer: Clive Willman and Associates
  • Editor: Dante Michilein
  • First Assistant Director: Elizabeth Eager
  • Script: Clive Willman, Davide Michielin, Dante Michielin
  • Director of cinematography: Davide Michielin
  • Camera: Davide Michielin, Clive Willman, Elizabeth Eager
  • Additional footage: Ross Cayley
  • Drone Pilot: Tom Pickett
  • Boom sound: Elizabeth Eager, Dante Michielin
  • Graphics and animation: Clive Willman
  • Music Composer: Dino Varrasso
  • Music Producer: Renzo Varrasso
  • Project Co-ordinator: Cameron Cairns, Geological Survey of Victoria

Thanks to

  • The following stakeholders for their time, understanding and support during the planning and acquisition of 2D deep seismic reflection data as part of the Southeast Lachlan Crustal Transect:
  • The communities of northeast Victoria and southeast New South Wales, including the private land and lease holders where the survey was acquired.
  • Victoria
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Parks Victoria
  • Aboriginal Victoria
  • VicRoads
  • Local Government Authorities: Alpine Shire Council, Benalla Rural City, East Gippsland Shire Council, Towong Shire, Rural City of Wangaratta and Strathbogie Shire Council
  • Regional Emergency Service agencies: Country Fire Authority, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Victoria State Emergency
  • Earth Resources Regulation
  • HPV Plantations
  • VicForests
  • Victorian Farmers Federation
  • Northeast Catchment Authority
  • Tourism Northeast
  • New South Wales
  • National Parks and Wildlife Services
  • Forestry Corporation
  • Emergency New South Wales
  • Roads and Maritime Services
  • Special thanks to: Tom Pickett. Richard Barnes and the Terrex Seismic crew, in particular:
  • Shane Goossens, Ryan Newbould, Nelson Castillo, June Ernst, Alan Fuller, Brendan Horstien,
  • Louis Coleshill, Jamie Walker and Clinton, Alisha, Toni, Ben, Kieran, Mikey, Juergen, Emma.

Thanks also to:  Roisin Lamprell, Ian Gordon, Morgan Chen, Jeromy Adams


  • Earth Imagery, NASA - Visible Earth
  • Geological maps, Geological Survey of Victoria
  • Geological Survey team c1904 - photo, Geological Survey of Victoria
  • Geological Survey team 2004 - photo
  • Michael Learney & Geological Survey of Victoria
  • Geoscience Collaborators
  • Logos for Geological Survey of Victoria, Geoscience Australia, New South Wales Government, AuScope
  • This survey was enabled by AuScope and the Australian Government via the National Collaborative
  • Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS):

© 2019 Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions]

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