Research Projects

Review of Borrow Pit Construction, Use and Rehabilitation within the Cooper Basin SA (PDF - 3.47MB)


This report presents the findings of a review undertaken by Jacobs SKM in 2013 of the Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) criteria for the construction and rehabilitation of Borrow Pits within the Cooper Basin SA. The review identified that an amendment of the GAS criteria would provide positive environmental outcomes particularly to address potential cumulative impacts associated with both legacy pits and the ongoing construction of new pits across the basin. The report provides a number of recommendations including a revised, consistent set of objectives and GAS criteria for borrow pits in the Cooper Basin.


Gas Criteria Tables for the Construction, Management and Rehabilitation of Borrow Pits (PDF - 57KB)


Following the recommendations in the Jakobs SKM report on borrow pit construction, use and rehabilitation, these tables were developed by the Department of State Development (DSD) in consultation with other relevant government agencies and industry and released in November 2014 for incorporation into relevant Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO).


Abandonment of Seismic Lines and Wellsites in the Cooper Basin    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

A study into the establishment of criteria for the abandonment of seismic lines and wellsites in the Cooper Basin, SA.  In addition to the main body of the report above, three large-format tables are provided as separate .PDF files:

Table 1 (PDF Thumb PDF) 
Table 2 (PDF Thumb PDF)
Table 3 (PDF Thumb PDF)

Airborne Video for Environmental Monitoring    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

This article outlines the development and application of an airborne video monitoring system by Minerals and Energy Resources of South Australia. It's primary objective is the assessment of environmental compliance of seismic operations in petroleum exploration in South Australia.(Jan 2002)

Article - Floristic Recovery of Native Vegetation    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

A short article on the key findings of a report commissioned by PIRSA (formerly MESA) in 1995 to assess the recovery over time of native vegetation after slashers are used in the preparation of seismic lines. The key focus was whether slashing altered the native vegetation in the long term or the vegetation returned to its non-impacted state.

Changes in vegetation over nine years after rehabilitating a linear feature in Australia's arid zone    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

A CSIRO journal article where an old 1960s road between Ayers Rock (Uluru) and the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) was rehabilitated and monitored.

Cooper Creek Spill Study Summary Report    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

A study of the potential effects of a crude oil or condensate spill into the Cooper Creek as a result of a pipeline leak or rupture.

Downhole Risk Practices Associated with Drilling and Well Completion Practices    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

This report presents the findings of a study undertaken by a university student employed by PIRSA to investigate the actual and potential downhole risks associated with drilling and completion practices in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins. The results of this study will be considered by the industry which has initiated a detailed research project into the risks on the Great Artesian Basin associated with drilling and completion practices in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins. This industry study, co-ordinated by the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy is a condition of approval of the existing Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO) for drilling and well operations in the Cooper/Eromanga Basin in South Australia as gazetted on the 31 October 2000.

Net Community Benefits Resulting From a Seismic Line Restoration Offset Payment    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

This article details a seismic line audit undertaken by PIRSA that resulted in an agreement with industry, whereby offset payment to fund projects of direct environmental benefit to the Innamincka Regional Reserve have been accepted by Government, in place of extensive rehabilitation work to restore ecologically neutral erosion gullies.

Seismic Exploration: The Significance of Soil Compaction for Environmental Management - Part 1    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

Seismic Exploration: The Significance of Soil Compaction for Environmental Management - Part 2    (PDF Thumb PDF - ) 

Thesis detailing the effects that seismic exploration has on soil compaction. Investigates what this means for plant regrowth along seismic lines. Flags that further research of plant regrowth in relation to compaction levels is needed to confirm the significance of the effect. Michael J. Stone.

Summary of Aerial Surveys Conducted for the Santos Ltd EPP32 Seismic Survey, 2-13 December 2003    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

Report detailing blue whale sightings during a 2D seismic survey conducted within EPP32. Margie G. Morrice, Peter C. Gill, John Hughes and Andrew H. Levings.

Techniques Used in Seismic Survey Line Preparation in the Cooper Basin (Qld)    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

Read about the development of innovative equipment for preparing and recording seismic lines in dense lignum vegetation. The equipment was used during 2D and 3D seismic surveys conducted by Santos in the Eromanga Basin of southwest Queensland. The report includes photographs of the purpose-built equipment and photographs showing rapid regeneration of the lignum.

The Impact of Seismic Lines on Ant Communities in the Cooper Basin    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

This is the final report by the South Australian Museum following a two year study. Almost 67,000 ants were caught and classified making this the largest single study of ants carried out in Australia.(March 2002)

Validation of use of Ants as Bioindicators of the Impact of Seismic Operations    (PDF Thumb PDF - )

A supplementary report by the South Australian Museum, detailing a study undertaken in the Cooper Basin to investigate the use of ants as bioindicators of the impact of seismic operations.