The New South Wales 3D Wireframe Model

Spampinato, Giovanni1

1Geological Survey of New South Wales, Department of Regional NSW, Maitland, Australia

Since 2014, the Geological Survey of New South Wales (GSNSW) has developed a series of interlocking 3D models of orogenic provinces, basins, major faults and depth of post-Carboniferous cover across the state. The aim of the program is to deliver an integrated, seamless 3D model that represents the fault architecture, major tectonic zones and the boundaries, structure and stratigraphy of orogenic provinces and basins. In June 2020, GSNSW released the first statewide New South Wales (NSW) 3D Wireframe Model.

The NSW 3D Wireframe Model illustrates the distribution of orogens together with associated tectonic domains and major faults that define the basement architecture of the state. Creating the model has drawn together and consolidated previous large-scale geological and structural interpretations. Constraining datasets include surface geological mapping, geological cross-sections, well data, digital elevation models, seismic, gravity and magnetic data, 3D models and 2D forward models.

The NSW 3D Wireframe Model establishes a fundamental statewide geological framework that will provide context for future 3D models. For example, the wireframe model will provide an upper crustal framework that will help inform and connect to deeper geological modelling of the lithosphere using geophysical data gained from the AusLAMP magnetotelluric and WOMBAT passive seismic surveys. At the smaller scale, in-fill 3D geological modelling will benefit from the regional baseline constraints provided by the wireframe model in much the same way that traditional detailed geological mapping is given context by regional geology.

This NSW 3D Wireframe Model will also serve as a template for a 3D printed physical model of the geology of NSW. This will be used as a hands-on educational tool for scientists, students, decision-makers and the general public.

The NSW 3D Wireframe Model is available for download via the GSNSW MinView web mapping application.


Giovanni is an experienced geophysicist with project management background. His expertise includes integration and interpretation of geological datasets and 3D modelling. Giovanni has completed a PhD at Monash University and before joining the NSW Geological Survey as a senior geoscientist, he worked as a consultant at Mira Geoscience in Brisbane.

About the GSA

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