The ARC Research Hub for Basin Geodynamics and Evolution of Sedimentary Systems (Basin GENESIS Hub) is a showcase of connecting “Big Data” analysis and high-performance computing in an open innovation framework. The hub will fuse multidimensional data into 5D basin models (space and time, with uncertainty estimates) by coupling the evolution of mantle flow, crustal deformation, erosion and sedimentary processes using open-source modelling tools.
The project will develop quantitative, cutting edge data analysis techniques to underpin the testing of new concepts for understanding basin structures, and aid in driving sustainable use of basin resources. The development of new high-performance simulation and data mining tools, making use of new petascale computing capabilities, will connect big, multidimensional data sets to cutting edge machine learning and modelling algorithms to cross a wide spectrum of spatial and temporal scales. These new approaches will help address a variety of issues in the context of basin structure and evolution for sustainable deep and shallow earth resource extraction and management.
Basins have the potential to provide ongoing energy supplies with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while also providing water resources and opportunities for geological carbon storage. The management and development of basin resources is complicated because many of them effectively utilise the same part of the earth’s crust – the space between the grains of sand within porous rocks. The hub will develop new digital basin models to improve our understanding of the diversity of geological processes operating at the scale of sedimentary systems. The hub will translate this new body of knowledge into practice for decision makers and end-users in basin exploration and management.
The ARC Research Hub is designed to establish Australia as the leader in e-Geoscience services and software in a basin analysis and management context. The software that will be developed in this hub is unique in that it will all be open-source and will facilitate the synthesis of geophysical and geological data with high-resolution numerical models. The ARC Research Hub’s e-Geoscience approach will enable basin explorers and managers to add enormous value to the abundance of digital geological data by including capabilities for visualising and modelling processes. This capability will create a dynamic, evolving geological knowledge base. Research outputs, available through an online basin model atlas, will help open new opportunities for delivery of data, software and added services.
Key geographical areas the research will focus on are the North-West shelf of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean continental margins. The Hub’s technology builds upon the exponential increase in computational power and the increasing amount of available big data. The Hub will harness the capacity of Australia’s most powerful computer, launched in 2013, operated by the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which supports the Hub via a special computer time allocation.
Funded through the Industry Transformation Research Hub program the main partners of the Basin GENESIS Hub are the University of Melbourne Geodynamics group, Curtin University’s Petroleum Group, Geoscience Australia, the California Institute of Technology, and five national and international industry partners.