Mafic/Ultramafic Carbonation Potential Map of Australia

September 20th, 2022

Project Lead:

jim austin

Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist, Potential Fields Geophysics, Potential Fields


Utilising mineral carbonation as a solution for permanently locking CO2 on geologic timescales requires knowledge of the spatial extent and favourability of the target rock in regions across Australia. Defining the spatial extent via geophysical mapping of mafic/ultramafic rock will assist in quantifying potential rock volumes available for in-situ mineral carbonation. However, mafic/ ultramafic favourability for CO2 uptake and storage is also a function of whether the mineralogy of a rock is chemically amenable to reaction with CO2 to form carbonates, and whether that rock has the necessary porosity and permeability to accommodate such reactions.

This project seeks to address the extent to which geophysical modelling, utilising gravity, magnetics, EM and seismic, constrained by petrophysical data, can be used to map and differentiate favourable and un-favourable mafic/ultramafic rocks. The study will utilise/collect petrophysical data and automated mineralogy to translate geological processes (e.g., alteration reactions) into geophysical properties. Rock property knowledge (e.g., magnetic, density, conductivity, acoustic properties) will be used to constrain geophysical models of potential host rocks. The project will map where potential mineral carbonation host lithologies occur, quantify their mineralogy and petrophysical properties, including porosity and permeability, and model their 3-D architectures to determine potential reactive volumes.

Team Members:

Senior Principal Research Scientist, Potential Fields

giovanni spampinato

Senior Research Scientist, Potential Fields

lionel esteban

Petrophysicist, Rock Properties


Senior Research Scientist, Geofluids

sarath Samaya Manthri Patabendi Gedara

Research Technician, Potential Fields