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Understanding the provenance of South Australian asphalitites and tar balls and their potential implications for the petroleum systems of the Great Australian Bight: mapping the spatial and geochemical relationships

A top-up for a PhD scholarship is available to investigate the provenance of South Australian asphaltites and tar balls and their potential implications for the petroleum systems of the Great Australian Bight. Whilst several previous investigations have detailed the geochemical characteristics of the tar balls and asphaltites that strand along the shores of the Great Australian Bight, further studies are required to expand this dataset and develop spatial relationships to potential offshore petroleum systems and potential hydrocarbon seep sites. The successful PhD candidate will integrate survey data on the accumulations of tar and asphaltite on South Australian ocean beaches, combined with insights on their provenance established by geochemical analysis. These data sets will then be used to develop statistical spatial models that enable their cross-validation with oceanographic and geological models for the region, thereby better constraining the likely origin of the tar balls and asphaltites. The resulting insights will have important implications for the prospectivity of the Ceduna Sub-basin. This exciting multidisciplinary PhD project requires both spatial analysis, geochemical and mathematical skill sets and will only be awarded to an outstanding candidate.

The top-up is available for Australian Postgraduate Award or Divisional (PhD) scholarships of $15,000 per annum (for 3 years), with $10,000 to augment the Ph.D. scholarship and $5,000 for operating.

The PhD candidate will be based at the Petroleum Exploration and Energy Group, CSIRO, Perth and be supervised by researchers at CSIRO and the University of Adelaide. The successful applicant will enroll in a PhD program at the University of Adelaide and work as part of the multi-institution team, participating in field and laboratory research programs on petroleum geology and geochemistry.

The successful applicant will be required to enter into a formal agreement setting out the specific terms and conditions governing their participation in the GAB Research Program.  For more details on these terms and conditions please contact A/Prof Tim Ward, Research Director GAB Research Program, SARDI: tim.ward@sa.gov.au, (08) 8207 5433.

For more information on the research theme and details of how to apply for the scholarship please contact Dr Andrew Ross (CSIRO): Andrew.Ross@csiro.au, (08) 6436 8790.