The AuScope Geochemistry Network and AusGeochem

Dalton, Hayden1, Prent, Dr Alexander2, Boone,Dr Samuel1, Florin, Dr Guillaume3, Greau, Dr Yoann3, McInnes, Professor Brent2, Gleadow, Professor Andrew1, O’Reilly, Professor Suzanne3, Kohn, Professor Barry1, Matchan, Dr Erin1, Alard, Dr Olivier3, Rawling, Dr Tim4, Kohlmann, Dr Fabian5, Theile, Moritz5, Noble,Dr Wayne5

1School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 2John de Laeter Centre, Curtin University, Perth, Australia, 3Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, 4AuScope, Melbourne, Australia, 5Lithodat Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia

In 2019, AuScope, in response to a national expression of need for better organisation and coordination of geochemistry laboratories and data, established the AuScope Geochemistry Network (AGN). The AGN aims to foster and coordinate a national geochemistry laboratory infrastructure that incorporates earth science institutions across Australia in order to solve the national challenges of today and tomorrow. The AGN’s goals include (but are not limited to): i) promotion of capital and operational investments in new, advanced geochemical infrastructure; ii) endorsing existing geochemical capability and supporting increased end user access to laboratory facilities across Australia; iii) fostering collaboration and professional development via online tools, training courses and workshops; and iv) developing and maintaining a FAIR Australian geochemistry data ecosystem capable of hosting a diverse suite of geochemistry and geochronology data (AusGeochem). The AGN is led out of Curtin University with partner ‘nodes’ currently comprising The University of Melbourne and Macquarie University. The AGN actively encourages all Earth Science institutions from government, academia and industry, to register their interest in becoming a data contributing partner of the network and collaborate towards a national geochemistry infrastructure.

The AGN and collaborator Lithodat are making significant progress towards the goal of developing the AGN’s data repository and platform, AusGeochem, to become the interface between the institutional, collaboration and public domains, facilitating laboratory data upload and dissemination. Using AusGeochem, institutes and geoscientists will be able to upload, disseminate and publish their datasets while maintaining data privacy control and plot and synthesise their data within the context of a wealth of publicly funded geochemical data aggregated by all data contributing partners.

The AGN is working with a number of Expert Advisory Groups (EAGs) to build common technique specific interlaboratory metadata templates and data models, currently for SHRIMP U-Pb, LA-ICP-MS U-Pb and Lu-Hf, Ar/Ar, fission track and (U-Th-Sm)/He, with expansion to more data types on the horizon. Comprising geochemical specialists from across Australia, the EAGs are providing invaluable advice regarding data reporting best practices, data quality assessment and visualisation tools to be incorporated into AusGeochem. The AGN has also been teaming up with the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) to integrate International Geo Sample Number (ISGN) minting capabilities into AusGeochem, allowing users to simultaneously mint their samples when uploading their data into the platform.

The AGN plans to grow its network and to continue engagement with the geoscience community through its monthly webinar series and hosting national workshops to share best practice and foster new collaborations across Australia. 


Hayden Dalton is presenting on behalf of the greater AuScope Geochemistry Laboratory Network. Hayden is a PhD researcher in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, his research focuses on the geochronology and geochemistry of kimberlites.

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.