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Determining fluid flow in the subsurface using fault and fracture mapping

Fluid movement in the subsurface is important to many industries; and faults and fractures are recognised as a control.

Geo Map Flinders and Mt Lofty

Simplified geological map of the Flinders Ranges and Mount Lofty Ranges and regional scale faults maps of (b) the northern Flinders Ranges, and (c) the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and adjacent regions (Lubineicki, 2019). View larger image.

It has long been recognised that faults and fractures in the Earth's subsurface are conduits for fluid movement. Fluid movement in the subsurface is important to a range of industries including water resources, geothermal, petroleum and mining exploration.

Fluid movement in the subsurface is also recognised for its role in natural hazards, such as Earthquakes, and also for the problems it may cause to subterranean waste storage. An understanding of fault and fractures and how they conduct these fluids through time and space is therefore vital. In fact, it is recognised by the Academy of Sciences as one of the top ten unresolved problems in Earth Sciences today.

This project will use a variety of data from landsat images, drone photography, outcrop mapping, core and image log analysis to map faults and fractures at a range of scales from various locations in South Australia. Additional permeability analysis will be undertaken on outcrop and core samples to understand the range of permeability attributes associated with different types of fractures.

Ros King


Associate Professor Ros King and Associate Professor Simon Holford

Research area: Mineral and energy systems

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Geology

Tagged in Honours projects - Geology, Honours Projects - Rosalind King, Honours Projects - Simon Holford

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