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Beneath the Never-Never: be the first to explore under Southeast Northern Territory

A MinEx CRC project looking at exploring unknown sedimentary basins deep beneath the Northern Territory.

Here there be dragons

Here there be dragons - the project area. View larger image.

SE Northern Territory—between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa is a vast region where really nothing is known about what lies below.

This is a remarkable opportunity to be one of the first people to work on core from a newly discovered sedimentary basin (the Carrara Sub-Basin, which we think is Mesoproterozoic) that has never been looked at by anyone, as it is buried under tens of meters of younger sedimentary rocks.

The MinEx CRC are drilling a 2 km deep core into this basin as we speak and by late 2020 the core will be available to examine and to sample.

The student doing this project will go to Darwin and sample the core, then date shales in the sequence using a novel laser Rb–Sr technique developed here in Adelaide and examine shales and carbonates for geochemical proxies for redox, salinity and biological activity to better understand what this part of Australia was like back in deep time.

This project is a MinEx CRC project in collaboration with Geoscience Australia and the NT Geological Survey, as well as part of a collaboration with Santos and Empire Energy. 

This project is a part of the MinEx CRC, the world's largest mineral exploration collaboration bringing together industry, government and research organisations. You will be working in collaboration with the Geological Survey of NT and Geoscience Australia and will also be part of the Tectonics and Earth Systems (TES) Research Group.


Professor Alan Collins


Professor Alan CollinsDr Juraj Farkas, Dr Morgan Blades and Dr Amber Jarrett

Research area: Mineral and energy systems, Tectonics and solid earth processes

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Geology

Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Alan Collins, Honours Projects - Juraj Farkas, Honours Projects - Morgan Blades

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition