Geological mapping experts to showcase latest techniques

Part of Geology in Action at Albany’s Torndirrup National Park
Date: Monday, 10 October 2016

Modern geological mapping techniques will be showcased to the public by experts from DMP's Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) and the University of Western Australia (UWA) at Torndirrup National Park later this month.

"There is much to discover about the geology in the Albany region that we do not understand, including the rocks at The Gap," GSWA’s Dr Catherine Spaggiari said.

"The event, under the 'Geology in Action' banner, will allow the public to see spectacular coastal outcrops from a geologist's eye and learn how we observe, record data, and make interpretations."

Dr Sandra Occhipinti, a Research Associate Professor at the School of Earth and Environment at UWA in Perth, will join Dr Spaggiari as part of a special training course for the Geological Survey of Greenland

Complex, deformed magmatic rocks at The Gap, Torndirrup National Park
Complex, deformed magmatic rocks at The Gap, Torndirrup National Park

"The Geological Survey of Greenland is a new organisation facing similar challenges to the large expanses of Western Australia, although in a very different landscape, and are keen to learn our methodology," Dr Occhipinti said.

Dr Spaggiari said GSWA had a very big backyard — the whole of WA — and has become a leader in linking new technology with many years of field experience to understand the rocks below our feet.

She said systematic geological mapping in the Albany region had not been carried out since the 1960's and 70's, but now there is new geophysical imagery available along with a much improved understanding of the eastern part of this geological belt.

"With the latest techniques and greater geological understanding of the region it is time for an update on what we have discovered," Dr Spaggiari said.

She has worked at GSWA for more than a decade, and is currently Project Manager for the Albany-Fraser region of the State, extending all along the south coast, inland to the Norseman region, and across the Nullarbor Plain to the South Australian border.

Before joining GSWA, Dr Spaggiari worked on the Jack Hills belt in the Murchison, famous for hosting the world's oldest zircons, as a research fellow at Curtin University.

Dr Occhipinti also worked at GSWA between 1994 and 2001 mapping the geology of the Gascoyne region, and until recently, worked in the mineral exploration industry, giving her a thorough understanding of all aspects of the profession.

Interestingly enough, both specialise in structural geology, completed geological university training at Monash University in Melbourne, and have Italian heritage!

All are welcome, but those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must bring their own food and water and outdoor attire, including closed shoes.

The 'Geology in Action' event is presented by the Geological Survey of Western Australia, Great Southern Science Council, Inspiring Australia and the University of Western Australia.

When: 9:30 am to 1:00 pm Thursday, 20 October, 2016
Where: The Gap, Torndirrup National Park
Details: Cost: Admission to the National Park

RSVP essential: Liz Tanner -