Building a cloud-hosted exploration data platform and its application

Kohlmann, Dr Fabian1; Noble, Dr Wayne1; Theile, Moritz1

1Lithodat Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, Australia

Well managed, standardized data is vital for the exploration industry as it currently undergoes an intense digitalization phase. As most available geoscientific datasets are regionally bound and have bespoke implementations, it is challenging to merge all data into a consistent global framework. Lithodat’s vision is to provide geoscientists with global geoscientific databases and analytics to decrease the time taken to gain new insights about regions of interest. Currently, LithoSurfer offers the largest global, standardised thermochronology and geochronology repository available. The detailed analytical data and advanced analytical tools allow the options to query data and thermal histories through time, or even rerun thermal history models.

To achieve this Lithodat has developed LithoSurfer, an online platform for viewing, analysing and extracting data. LithoSurfer gives quick access to a wealth of information (analytical details, lab information, literature etc.) across multiple analytic techniques and localities. Lithodat’s team of experts’ extract, validate and integrate data in our cloud-hosted database. This consolidation opens up the full potential that spatial geoscience data has to offer and is a vast improvement on storing data in separate spreadsheets and folders as often happens within laboratories and research projects. LithoSurfer makes disperse and complicated research datasets understandable and usable for the wider geoscience community.

Lithodat’s strong links with academia and industry help bring the geoscience community together with a consistent platform for their global geospatial research data. LithoSurfer allows academic communities to enter, organize and analyse their data and collaborate with researchers and industry. Data owners have the opportunity to share their published data with the entire global research community or with just selected co-researchers or customers. Unpublished data or data which needs to be kept private is only accessible to authorized researchers. Although protected, this data can still be integrated with other already published data. In addition, LithoSurfer also details the analytical origin and techniques to enable users to filter the data they want and trust.

Using the right tools means researchers can help to solve scientific questions and industrial demands.

With LithoSurfer researchers can now visualize, combine and export data from areas of interest including diagrams, graphs and auto generated reports on the fly. However, LithoSurfer does not constrain the researcher to its tools, and data can be extracted in multiple formats to take full advantage new techniques such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).


After a post-doc at Bergen University, Fabian worked with Neftex and Halliburton as a Senior Geoscientist. Fabian left Halliburton in 2018 to join Lithodat Pty. Ltd., a spatial exploration data company based in Melbourne.

Fabian holds a PhD from University of Melbourne and a MSc from LMU in Munich, Germany.

About the GSA

The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support Earth sciences in Australia.

As a broadly based professional society that aims to represent all Earth Science disciplines, the GSA attracts a wide diversity of members working in a similarly broad range of industries.