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Revolutionizing the resource prospectivity game in Australia and globally (Ross Cayley)

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Conferences, Exploration


Ross Cayley of the Geological Survey of Victoria will host a seminar tomorrow on “The Lachlan Orocline of Eastern Australia: Revolutionizing the resource prospectivity game in Australia and globally” at the Centre for Exploration Targeting. I’ve organised this seminar not only because its a great piece of geoscience, published in the most prestigious journal, Nature, but also because unlike a lot academic geoscience research, this appears to be of immediate economic impact to explorers. It would seem to vastly increase the prospectivity of Victoria and some the other eastern Australian states. Some Australian exploration companies are already beginning to focus on the region.

The seminar takes place tomorrow (Thursday 21st May) at 4.00pm-4.45pm in the Woolnough Lecture Theatre (Room 1.07), Geography and Geology Building, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, 6009′. Importantly the seminar is FREE, and all are welcome. More details on the Centre for Exploration Targeting website.

Ross’s abstract for the seminar is below, along with his bio, and a link to his Nature paper.

See you there!


“Since the first applications of modern plate tectonic theory to Eastern Australia, the Lachlan Fold Belt (LFB) has been repeatedly interpreted as an unusually wide and squat, composite orogen, an amalgamation of multiple linear, orogen-parallel Early Paleozoic accretion or rifting events and multiple arc complexes, some developed independently, some simultaneously. However, modern structural and stratigraphic mapping, and aeromagnetic, gravity and deep seismic reflection data now constrains a new geodynamic model: a simple unifying solution for the whole LFB from far north Queensland to Tasmania. This model develops the idea that only one, continent-dipping, subduction zone was active in eastern Australia in the Ordovician-Early Devonian. Its formation involved continent-scale reorientations of the geology. The model effectively doubles the apparent LFB width, disrupting and redistributing any- and all- mineral systems formed within the orogen prior to 400Ma in the process. It is a brand new conceptual template for predicting the location of buried mineral systems in all of Australia’s eastern States – the global type-locality for a new geodynamic model that rethinks the lower mantle processes that drive continental collisions.”


“Ross Cayley is a structural and field geologist at the Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV). He is developing a radical new geodynamic model for the Australian continent for the Cambrian – Devonian. An overview of this work was incorporated as the global type-locality for a new geodynamic model for continent collision developed with Monash University research collaborators. Published recently in NATURE, this work has fundamental implications for terrane prospectivity analysis across Australia, and globally.”


Moresi, L., Betts, P.G., Miller, M.S., & Cayley, R.A., 2014, Dynamics of continental accretion, Nature, 508, 245-248, 10 April.