Understanding the south-west region to its core using geology at Sungold Field Days

SEE IN 3D: The Victorian Gas Program's Grant Clarke and geologist Aleks Vujovic will teach people about geology using technology this week. Picture: Rob Gunstone
SEE IN 3D: The Victorian Gas Program's Grant Clarke and geologist Aleks Vujovic will teach people about geology using technology this week. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Did you know Portland’s renowned southern bluefin tuna fishing is linked to its proximity to the continental shelf?

This is just one of many interesting facts about the south-west’s geology that 3D-geomodeller Aleks Vujovic is keen to share at this week’s Sungold Field Days event in Allansford.

Mr Vujovic, from the Geological Survey of Victoria, is working in Warrnambool as part of the Victorian Gas Program, a $42.5 million project scoping conventional gas reserves across the state.

Geologists working in the region are setting up a marquee cinema at the event to give attendees the opportunity to learn more about Victoria’s geology – with a focus on the Otway Basin – through a 3D-projection.

Mr Vujovic said the fishing example showed how geology affected people’s lives.

“You can see how close the continental shelf is to the coastline, so it drops off very quick,” he said. “That’s why we get people from Portland catching really big bluefin tuna, because they’ve got upwellings of plankton and other organisms along this shelf and the tuna follow.”

He said better understanding the region’s geology could teach people, such as farmers, more about groundwater resources.

Victorian Gas Program community engagement manager Grant Clarke said running the sessions was a way of introducing more people to science.

He said it also helped people understand the work involved in the Victoria Gas Program.

The program has led to a team of up to 15 people set up in Warrnambool undertaking three years of surveying work ahead of the state’s moratorium on conventional gas exploration being lifted in mid-2020.

Fracking, or unconventional gas exploration, has been permanently banned.

The program is focused on the Otway Basin in the south-west and the Gippsland Basin in the state’s east, with the Otway Basin considered the most prospective part of the state for conventional gas.

Sessions lasting 20 minutes will run on the hour at Sungold Field Days, running from Wednesday to Friday this week, and participants will have the chance to put questions to geologists.