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Seismic images provide the ANSIR [Australian National Seismic Imaging Resource] to the Earth's interior.

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Warren Entsch, MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources


10 December 1998




Seismic images provide the ANSIR to the Earth’s interior


A new seismological facility that will give Australia image s of the earth’s interior was unveiled today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Warren Entsch.


The Australian National Seismic Imaging Resource (ANSIR) has been assembled over the past three years, using a grant of $5 million provided by the Commonwealth Government under its Major National Research Facilities Program.


ANSIR is owned and operated by the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO) and the Australian National University, through its Research School of Earth Sciences.


“Like a telescope designed to look down instead of up, the facility has been designed to image structures inside the earth, from continental scale to the very small,” Mr Entsch said.


“A number of machines create seismic waves, while other instruments record the waves after they have been bounced back from the interior of the earth. Unlike telescopes that are fixed in place, this equipment is designed to be carried around the country to study the wide range of structures within the continent.


“The Major National Research Facilities Program was established to strengthen Australia’s research and education base, to ensure Australia remains internationally competitive.


“Seismic images of the earth are vitally important for understanding the geology of the continent.  The facility will be used for research designed to assist the mining and energy sectors, for the mitigation of hazards, particularly earthquakes, and for studies of problems associated with groundwater, especially salinity in many of our agricultural areas.”


The Director of ANSIR, Dr Barry Drummond, said this type of equipment could yield data that would have wide-ranging benefits.


“One such example would be a study recently undertaken in (he Broken Hill region,” Dr Drummond said. “Our images of the earth were designed to help the mining industry find more ore bodies. However, our primary objective was to ensure the future of the town of Broken Hill, where the ore reserves are now limited.


“Broken Hill is more than a ruining town. The whole of western New South Wales relies on it for its commercial, educational and health infrastructure. This was a study about social infrastructure, not just about mining.”


The full range of ANSIR equipment will be on show to the media at 10.30am, on Thursday 10 December 1998, at the headquarters of the Australian Geological Survey Organisation, at Symonston in the ACT.


Further information:

Mr Paul Everingham, Mr Entsch’s Office, 02 6277 4656 or 0409 866 462

Dr Barry Drummond, AGSO, 02 6249 9381


Media contact:

Nadine Ashton AGSO,  (02) 6249 9800