Geological Society of Australia
Victoria Division

General Meeting
Thursday 26th May at 6:15 p.m.
Fritz Loewe Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
Talk will be proceeded by drinks from 5:30 pm in the 4th floor tearoom, cost $2.

Hydrocarbon traps in complex settings

Titus Murray
FaultSeal Pty Ltd, CEO

Conventional prospect evaluation is commonly based on reviewing regional column heights, then assessing the difference between a prospects crest and the structural spill point, and in some cases, nearby analogue discoveries. Commonly Monte Carlo Simulations or Lognormal Distributions are used to define distributions of trapped column. Depending on the company, the column, gross rock volume, pore volume, oil and/or gas in place distributions are generated. These parameters are then modified by probability of geological success (PG). This is estimated/elicited as a combination of factors that may effect the column; for instance probability, seal, trap reservoir & fault seal. This methodology has utility in regions with single reservoirs. Unfortunately where there are stacked sands there are considerable inter-segment dependencies. It is often difficult to assess which prospects to drill in regions with stacked pay in four-way and three-way (fault dependent) prospects. It is proposed that it is better to model the container constraints through a stochastic model of trap geometry, structural elements, top seal and sedimentary stacking. Whilst estimating prospect risks it is vital to ensure that each case is constrained by the fundamental physics of trapping hydrocarbons. In particular ensuring that the seal geometry has been built on an integrated sequence stratigraphic and structural modelling strategy. This strategy will be reviewed based on the West Sea Horse field (Gippsland Basin) example.

Speaker bio...

Titus Murray is a structural geologist with extensive experience in the characterisation of faulted and fractured reservoirs. His expertise is focused on the development of techniques which allow probabilistic fault reservoir modelling to achieve efficient workflows in the exploration and development of reservoir planning. Over the past 14 years he has been developing the FaultRisk software suite prior to this he worked for Midland Valley, the UK Nirex and Maptek.

Follow the link for more information.

The 2016 AGM

During last month's meeting the GSA Victoria Division held its Annual General Meeting. Reports on various aspects of our divisions activities and finances were compiled for the April edition of The Victorian Geologist. The following summary of the Chairperson's address adds to those reports (full minutes will be provided prior to the next AGM):

Chairperson's Address:
David Cantrill highlighted the following for members:

  • It has been a usual year in regard to programming. The gold museum
    visit was a personal highlight and we were treated to some great talks.
  • The Victoria division will not be on the governing council for the next
    four years. Positions are available to members for general nominations
    for a seat on the governing council. Please consider joining the council.
  • The effort to provide a certified status for members is now well
    advanced and should be resolved by the next upcoming federal
  • Membership continues to decline, which is not surprising, however as it
    is a long term trend the society is now looking at ways to engage
    members more actively. The NSW division had been defunct for a
    number of years due to low engagement on the committee. Recent
    work by the federal GSA head office has improved participation,
    particularly amongst students, and has reactivated the NSW division. Victoria has a static committee and we would like to improve that situation.

An outcome of this meeting was the election of office bearers and committee members for the following 12 months. The results are as follows:

Committee Executive:                          Subcommittee Representatives:
Chair                  David Cantrill                Awards                   Ingrid Campbell
Vice-Chair          Adele Seymon              Heritage                 Susan White
Secretary           Michelle Grosser          Education              Shannon Burnett
Treasurer           Barbara Wagstaff         Newsletter              Kieran Iles

Committee members:
David Moore - Investments Administrator
Karen Kapteinis
Fiona Glover

Student sponsorship

Nicolas Molnar
Monash University

I started my PhD at Monash University in October 2014, and I’m studying large-scale tectonic processes by means of a technique called “Analogue modelling”, which consists of physical representations of Earth’s crust deformation at smaller scales, so we can analyse them in the lab. I came all the way from Argentina and ended up with this fantastic project. After completing my first year of candidature, I decided to present my work at the SGTSG (Specialist Group in Tectonics and Structural Geology) meeting in Caloundra, Queensland.

It was a great opportunity for me to present my progress, as these meetings consists of a relatively small group of geoscientists dedicated to a specific topic such as Tectonics and Structural Geology. This means that they represent a key group of academics that most likely will be interested in my work.

After being in Caloundra and making an oral presentation for the very first time, I am sure it was the right decision. Showing my preliminary work to the “world”, starting with the key audience, in a relaxed and friendly environment as the whole conference had, made me feel it was the ideal conference to attend at this stage. Not only because of the feedback I received, but also because the possibility of attending to great talks by great researchers for the first time also gave me a different perspective and will definitely work as inspiration for my future presentations in upcoming conferences.

I am very appreciative of the GSA Victoria Division for the conference attendance scholarship I have been awarded, it was a very good experience!

Summary of April's talk

Steve Micklethwaite works with CReST (Centre for Resources, Science and Technology), which was started by Monash University, but will eventually bring in others, such as Melbourne University and the CSIRO. It’s designed as a boundary-spanner between the resource industries and cutting-edge research. It will also involve exploration geology and environmental monitoring.

Steve's talk "Earthquakes with the Midas touch" first covered field evidence examining shear zones, vein geometries and gold deposit clustering. He gave an overview of earthquake-related processes, such as tremors, earthquake swarms, aftershock sequences and earthquake triggering, and how these effect regional faults, fluid movement and future earthquakes. Steve looked at case study in the Mount Pleasant Goldfield of the Kalgoorlie Terran of the Yilgarn Craton, where Coulomb modelling has allowed the mapping of secondary faults and the discovery of new gold deposits.

An implication of Steve's research is that the time period of aftershocks, permeability measured through geophysics and known estimates of gold concentration in fluids can be used to calculate the amount of fluid through a system and (assuming efficient stripping of gold from the fluid) the generation of gold deposits.

by Fiona Glover

Important notice for members:

As a result of rising cost and declining demand, the committee have decided that the Victoria Division will no longer make a printed edition of the monthly newsletter. All members on the emailing list will continue to receive The Victorian Geologist in our new Webnewsletter format. We encourage anyone who currently receives a printed edition to provide us with an email address if you are not currently receiving the newsletter electronically. Special requests for a printed newsletter should be made to the Secretary by emailing or in writing to the mailing address (found on the second last page of the newsletter) no later than Thursday June 23.

David Cantrill
GSAV Chairperson


Books Available

A selection of GSA publications will be available at the May meeting. They cover a range of topics. Free to a good home!

GSA Membership

The Geological Society of Australia is aware of the difficulty some members, particularly newly graduated student members and members no longer employed as geoscientists, face staying with the Society. Some of the benefits that you might not have realised are available to you as members are:

  • Subscription to an internationally recognised and peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, available in hard copy and online, or online only.
  • An alternative subscription choice of Alcheringa, the publication of the Association of Australian Palaeontologists.
  • Reduced registration rates for the biennial Australian Earth Sciences Convention (this year in Adelaide June 26-30).
  • Special prices on the GSA's Special Publication series.
  • Subscription to the GSA's popular quarterly magazine The Australian Geologist, which covers the broad range of specialist Earth Science issues in a entertaining and accessible format.
  • GSA members are entitled to receive 10% discount off Taylor and Francis books; and 50% discount off Taylor and Francis journals (no limit on the number).

Australian Earth Sciences Convention 2016


The AESC 2016 will showcase the latest geoscience research, provide opportunities for professional development and the space to connect and collaborate with geoscientists. Being held this year in Adelaide, Held between the 26th and 30th of June this year the AESC is a major conference hosted by the Geological Society of Australia every two years

More information is available at

During AESC the Society will hold its Nuclear Energy Public Forum. The Public Forum will be held on the 27th of June at 7:00 p.m. at the Adelaide Convention Centre and all are welcome to attend, conference attendees (cost included in registration) and the general public (modest fee) alike. The forum will be chaired by Michelle Cooper, moderated by Dr Paul Willis and feature a panel consisting of Dr Vanessa Guthrie, Dr Tony Irwin, Professor Ian Lowe, Professor Barry Brook, Greg Ward and Dr Mark Diesendorf.

More information can be found at


Forthcoming events

Unless otherwise noted, all 2016 talks will be held at the Fritz Loewe Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne.

May 26th: Monthly meeting:
Titus Murray: Hydrocarbon traps in complex settings

June 23rd: Howitt Lecture (held at the Royal Society of Victoria):
Erin Matchan: The age of Victoria's volcanoes

July 28th: Monthly meeting:
Dr Matthias Raab: CO2CRC Otway Project

Student Scholarships

The GSAV are pleased to offer scholarships for honours and postgraduate students for assistance with travel costs associated with conferences (fieldwork excluded). The number and value of the scholarships awarded each year is made at the discretion of the GSA Victoria committee. Up to $500 for domestic travel (Australia and New Zealand) and $700 for international travel is available. More information, including the eligibility criteria and application form, is available at

Contributions to The Victorian Geologist

If there are any events, happenings, news, or views that would be of interest to the membership, please send your details and information to Kieran Iles at:
Newsletter deadline: First Friday of the month, except for December and January.

Contribute to TAG

It is member contributions which make TAG (The Australian Geologist) a member magazine – please keep the contributions coming and assist with informing all of the membership (not just your Division) about your activities.

Please send your news to:

About the GSA Victoria Division

General information about the Geological Society of Australia and GSA Victoria Division can be found at and
Contact details for the GSAV Committee can be found at

Copyright © 2016 GSA Victoria, All rights reserved.
GSAV website