AusLAMP crustal conductivity project

The Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP) aims to establish baseline deep-crustal electrical conductivity 11–100 km deep across Australia. The collection of this data is an UNCOVER priority and will improve our understanding of fundamental deep-crustal structures. This knowledge will inform interpretations about tectonic evolution and guide area selection for resource exploration.


Status map of AusLAMP NSW acquisition as of February 2020.
(See enlarged map).

AusLAMP long-period magnetotelluric (MT) data collection is a collaboration between GSNSW and Geoscience Australia (GA) under a National Collaborative Framework Agreement. Field work for data acquisition is happening between July 2016 and December 2020.

Full coverage of NSW will involve approximately 320 AusLAMP sites spaced approximately 55 km apart (see figure below). MT readings are measured by installing a set of electric and magnetic sensors connected to a data recorder. Instruments are placed at each site for 4–6 weeks to record very long period natural electromagnetic signals from Earth. Between 10 and 30 instruments are deployed at a time. Fieldwork started in the southeast of the state and is progressing toward the northeast corner.

Data are being analysed to create a 3D electrical conductivity model of Earth from 10 km to over 100 km deep.


Typical set-up of long-period MT instrumentation.