COVID-19 - GSWA is open for business

The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) would like to reassure external stakeholders that we are open for business during these uncertain times. We are continuing to adapt to the situation to ensure service delivery. Business looks a little different right now, with a significant number of our staff working from home, and changes to public access to metropolitan and regional offices.

Suspension of 2020 whole field season for mapping teams

Regional travel restrictions have seen the suspension of GSWA’s 2020 field season until at least 30 June 2020. After that date the possibility of undertaking fieldwork will be re-evaluated within government restrictions and available information.

Access to DMIRS locations

To protect staff and the public from the risk of COVID-19 transmission, changes have been made regarding access to the following locations:

Useful links

DMIRS COVID-19 information

Western Australian State Government COVID-19 information

Online and database information sessions - 2020

Please note that March and April sessions were cancelled due to DMIRS advice on COVID-19. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the situation, the occurrence of further training sessions in 2020 will be assessed closer to the date. The following is provided for information when the courses start again.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) offers FREE information sessions in the use of databases and online systems. The presentations allow hands-on interaction for most systems. We have updated the format of the sessions for 2020 and no longer have beginner or advanced sessions. However, there is an expectation that attendees have proficient computer skills. A desktop computer will be available for each attendee.

Topics include:

Schedule 2020 (same for Perth and Kalgoorlie sessions)

There is an expectation that attendees know how to do the following in GeoVIEW.WA and TENGRAPH Web:

09:30 – 10:00  Overview of web applications
10:00 – 10:45 Data access and download (Data and Software Centre, USBs and eBookshop)
10:45 – 11:00 GeoMap.WA (includes workbook exercise)
11:00 – 11:10 Break for morning tea
11:10 – 11.40 GeoMap.WA (continued)
11:40 – 12:15 GeoVIEW.WA (includes data download and workbook exercise)
12:15 – 12:45  Break for lunch
12:45 – 13:30 TENGRAPH Web (includes workbook exercise)
13:30 – 14:00 WAMEX
14:00 – 14:30 MINEDEX
14:30 – 15:00 Q&A and one-on-one session

Perth sessions

Thursday 26 March - cancelled
Thursday 2 July - TBA
Thursday 5 November - TBA

Kalgoorlie sessions

Thursday 16 April - cancelled
Tuesday 24 November - TBA

New edition of Fieldnotes now available

The latest edition of Fieldnotes (April 2020 number 94) is now available on the DMIRS eBookshop.

This edition includes survey results from the Fraser Institute with Western Australia ranking the top investment destination in the world, the release of the long-awaited microbialites handbook, geology of the Hardey Syncline, 3D modelling of the Earth, photos from GSWA Open Day 2020, latest information on subsalt hydrocarbons and helium, and our latest product releases.

Tap on the cover image and the PDF will open.

Spotlight on a product

Record 2020/6 Eastern Goldfields greenstone geochemical barcoding project: notes to accompany 2020 data release

The Eastern Goldfields greenstone geochemical barcoding project is an initiative under the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) which aims to use new, high-quality, whole-rock geochemical data to investigate stratigraphic links within and between greenstone belts, particularly where primary geological context is limited. Interpretation of these data is ongoing and the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) will regularly be releasing fully attributed datasets containing all new data. This first release includes 3560 new whole rock analyses. It is expected that this significant increase in the amount of publicly available high-quality data will lead to an increase in the understanding of the evolution of Archean greenstone belts, of Archean crust in general and of related mineral systems. The Record and associated datasets are now available on the DMIRS eBookshop.

GSWA code builder - update released

The GSWA Code Builder application provides the geological community with a solid reference for and an explanation of rock and regolith codes used in GSWA digital products, and allows exploration and mining companies to follow the GSWA scheme if desired.


Codes and underlying classification schemes used to differentiate bedrock and regolith units are a critical component of geoscientific maps. GSWA has developed classification schemes (based on IUGS – International Union of Geological Sciences – guidelines) to provide coherent terminology and code structure on its maps and geoscience spatial information layers. The schemes are designed to ensure consistency of coding and naming of units within projects and across Western Australia, and are essential modules within GSWA database systems.

GSWA’s code systems cover the entire State and a large variety of rocks and regolith types, so can be complex and difficult to understand or duplicate for the external user. Consequently, the code-generation components of GSWA’s systems were compiled into a standalone desktop application made available in February 2013 from the Data and Software Centre. Two separate tabs were included, to allow building of bedrock and regolith codes, with an expandable field displaying concise tips. A ‘More Details’ tab provided links to GSWA records with additional information about GSWA rock and regolith classification schemes, as well as links to useful reference websites

What’s new in the 2020 update

Much work has been undertaken by GSWA geologists and collaborators in the seven years since the release of the GSWA Code Builder in February 2013. The extensive geochronology program, targeted detailed mapping and geochemical work carried out by GSWA in the intervening years has led to significant re-interpretations of stratigraphy in many regions of Western Australia. Consequently, many stratigraphic codes have been modified to reflect the new understanding of geological relationships.

The April 2020 version of the GSWA Code Builder provides an updated list of stratigraphic codes, minor additions to the Rockname and Age tables, and updated links to external webpages. Step-by-step instructions for users to customize and add their own data to any of the supplied Microsoft Office Access tables are provided as Appendix 3 in GSWA Record 2013/8 (under the ‘More Details’ tab).

The application requires a Windows operating system and can be downloaded from the DMIRS Data and Software Centre -> Datasets -> Resources -> GSWA Code Builder. Details of System Requirements are also provided with the download.

For more information, contact Angela Riganti.


DMIRS transitioning to a new geodetic datum - GDA2020

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has revised its full compliance date for the implementation of the Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020) from 1 July to 1 October.

DMIRS online lodgement processes that include spatial coordinates will be changed to accommodate both GDA2020 and the current GDA94 datum from 1 July while work will continue on required policy and regulatory changes as well as system conversions.

The national implementation of GDA2020 is necessary to account for Australia’s tectonic movement of about 7 cm northeast each year.

Since the year 2000, Australia has moved approximately 1.8 m towards Indonesia, requiring the coordinate reference system to be changed.

GDA2020 will supersede the current GDA94 datum, and older coordinate systems such as the Australian Geodetic Datum 1966 and 1984 (AGD66 and AGD84).

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) is responsible for coordinating the GDA2020 datum shift nationally.

Resource Tenure Executive Director Rick Rogerson said DMIRS has been working closely with Landgate, the lead agency for GDA2020 implementation in Western Australia, to deliver systems changes and the appropriate policy and regulatory changes.

‘A DMIRS working group has been established to implement the upgrade but the transition is more complex than the previous upgrade from AGD84 to GDA94,’ he said.

‘The original target date was 1 July but DMIRS is now aiming for 1 October as a full implementation date in response to technical, policy and regulatory issues in addition to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

‘A number of datasets will be available in both GDA94 and GDA2020 from 1 July 2020 and we will keep our stakeholders informed about the upgrade process.’

DMIRS is updating regulations and policies that specify a defined datum to reflect the adoption of GDA2020 and changing systems. For a transition period, downloadable spatial data will be available in both GDA2020 and GDA94.

‘GDA2020, like GDA94, is a “static” datum which means that coordinates of features such as roads, buildings and land parcels do not change with time during the period to which the particular datum applies, despite the ongoing movement of the earth’s surface due to tectonic movement,’ Mr Rogerson said.

‘The upgrade will ensure spatial data can be more closely aligned to positions observed using Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

‘All mining tenements will retain their relationships with all other mining tenure, no ground will be gained or lost.’

DMIRS will continue to keep stakeholders informed as the project progresses. More information about GDA2020 is available on the DMIRS website.

For further general information on datums and the update, visit ICSM.

Data Packages

1:500 000 State regolith geology of Western Australia, 2020
by Jakica, S and de Souza Kovacs, N

Digital Core Atlas series

Harvey 3, Perth Basin: Digital Core Atlas
by Gamarra, S and Symonds, A

Kimberley, 2020: GIS

Murchison 3D, 2019
by Murdie, RE, Zibra, I, Ivanic, TJ, Wyche, S and Lowrey, JR

Update of 1:100 000 State interpreted bedrock geology digital map


Aboriginal land, conservation areas, mineral and petroleum titles, and geology Western Australia – 2020
by Ridge, KJ

Basement interpretation of the Kidson seismic survey 18GA-KB1
by Doublier, MP, Gessner, K, Kohanpour, F, Hickman, AH, Howard, HM, Martin, DMcB and Johnson, SP

Mines – operating and under development, Western Australia – 2020
by Sargent, SN, Wyche, NL, D'Ercole, C, Jones, JA and Murray, SI

Major resource projects, Western Australia — 2020
by Sargent, SN

Text publications

Report 196 Geochronology of metasedimentary and granitic rocks in the Granites–Tanami Orogen: 1885–1790 Ma geodynamic evolution
by Maidment, DW, Wingate, MTD, Claoue-Long, JC, Bodorkos, S, Huston, DL, Whelan, JA, Bagas, L, Lambeck, A and Lu, Y

Report 203 Geology of the Hardey Syncline - the key to understanding the northern margin of the Capricorn Orogen
by Martin, DMcB

Record 2020/2 GSWA 2020 extended abstracts: advancing the prospectivity of Western Australia

Geological Survey of Western Australia Annual Review 2018–19

F53427–F53433: macrofossils from the Maxicar beds, southern Perth Basin
by Martin, SK and Stilwell, JD

Flashback book sale - massive discounts for premium publications - while stocks last!

DMIRS is offering its premium publications backlist with massive discounts off the original advertised price. Act now to get some huge geological bargains while stocks last!

Discovery trails to early Earth Geology and landforms of the Perth region Cover of The birth of supercontinents Cover of the book

Bulletin 145 Devonian reef complexes – normally $50 – discounted price $25
Discovery trails to early Earth – normally $25 – discounted price $15
Geology and landforms of the Perth Region – normally $22 – discounted price $11
Australia goes it alone (Cretaceous to present) – normally $33 – discounted price $15
A Paleozoic perspective of WA – normally $33 – discounted price $15
MRB 13 Copper mineralization in Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 14 Nickel mineralization in Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 17 Barite and fluorite in Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 18 Limestone and limesand resources of Western Australia – FREE
MRB 19 Kaolin in Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 20 Bentonite, attapulgite, and common clays in Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 21 Silica resources of Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 22 Tantalum in Western AustraliaFREE
MRB 23 Dimension stone in Western Australia: Volume 1FREE
MRB 24 Dimension stone in Western Australia: Volume 2FREE

To order any of these publications, please email. Shipping costs will be added to the discounted price.

Access Fieldnotes and GSWA eNewsletter


Fieldnotes Access Fieldnotes and GSWA eNewsletter is a quarterly publication (now digital only) that provides the State's exploration industry and other geoscientists with information on our latest work and ongoing programs. The publication offers updates on other products and services.

Find past issues of Fieldnotes on our website or subscribe to this eNewsletter to get the latest release.


To join our mailing list and receive our regular news updates, go to our website and subscribe to our newsletter. To stop receiving these newsletters, please unsubscribe by replying to the email you receive from us.

Access GSWA products

You can download maps, reports, and digital information free of charge from our website.

Click on these links to take you to the download or launch page for that product:

Hard copies

Maps, USB data packages, and nine premium publications are available to purchase as hard copies from the eBookshop or the First Floor counter at Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth WA 6004. A new online cart and payment system is in place. Records, reports, bulletins and other non-series books cannot be purchased in hard copy but are all available as PDFs to view and download free of charge.

Contact Us

Contact Us

For information on publications, email or telephone +61 8 9222 3459/ fax +61 8 9222 3444.

For information on digital data, email or telephone +61 8 9222 3816.

Mineral House
100 Plain Street
East Perth WA 6004

For more information about GSWA go to our website