Geoscience Australia plans to harness a forthcoming Fujitsu supercomputer to crunch 20 years of satellite imagery to understand the impacts of mining on the Earth's surface.
The agency unveiled plans to use the National Computing Infrastructure's 1.2 petaflop x86 supercomputer to be housed at the Australian National University for the task.
The data set consists of radar images from European Space Agency synthetic aperture radar satellites, which map "changes in the Earth's surface, or digital elevation".
Although the data has been available "for many years", the scale of this particular study of the dataset was made possible only by the new supercomputing resource and by Government investment into an initiative called the AuScope Australian Geophysical Observing System (AGOS).
"The cooperative venture will support Geoscience Australia's natural hazards monitoring activities as well as build the capability to measure crustal deformation to support an improved understanding of the impacts of groundwater extraction, geological storage of CO2 and resource exploration and mining activities," Geoscience Australia's earth monitoring and hazards program group leader Gary Johnston said.
"The analysis will contribute also to the development of a dynamic geodetic coordinate system for Australia and support applications which require high quality positioning information".