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GA Virtual Exploration Geophysics Laboratory Project

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Project Overview

Geoscience Australia (GA) is the national custodian of information vital to the Australian industry, government and research communities. AuScope Grid (AG) has a number of projects through which they are currently revealing GA data in an interoperable format:
  • Geodesy WFS [AG]
  • Geological Unit, Fault, Contact OneGeology Web Mapping Services (WMS) and WFS [AG]
  • Geotransects (seismic data) [AG]
The Australian Spatial Research Data Commons (ASRDC) and AG projects will assist GA with SISS deployments for the Virtual Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (VEGL). The VEGL project aims to establish an online portal where geophysicists will be able to access, view and process a variety of GA geophysics data.

The project encompasses:
  • Interoperable access to GA Geophysical data;
  • Visualisation of GA's Geophysical data;
  • Selecting cut-sets of this data;
  • Selecting and running processing workflows on the data selections;
  • Cataloging processing runs.

Processing involves the capability of selecting data cut-sets and using a number of processing algorithms which are designed for use on high performance computing infrastructure. The data will be hosted as an official GA mirror at the National Compute Infrastructure (NCI) facility at the Australian National University (ANU). All SISS services will also be deployed at NCI.

The processing workflow involved as part of the VEGL project will largely mirror that used for the Geodesy project.

GA will provide an official mirror of their Geophysical data at NCI. This mirror will be used as the basis for interoperable delivery of the Geophysical data using a selection of open source services (the spatial information services stack - SISS) also deployed at NCI. To ensure governance control, GA must have complete control over Phase 2 deployments. The initial Phase 1 deployments can be developed and temporarily housed external to GA. To ensure complete sustainability, each of the requirements for Phase 2 deployments should be isolated from any AuScope/ASRDC involvement.

Workflow-oriented processing facilities are a key component of the Virtual Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (VEGL) project. VEGL requires intense High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure support. This activity will follow similar deployment strategy as per the Geodesy workflow. ASRDC will work in collaboration with GA/NCI staff and the AG project will provide guidance (grid computing experience). VEGL will require mirroring of GAs onshore geophysical magnetic and gravity archive to NCI. ASRDC recognise that a coverage service will need to be deployed in order to deliver this data effectively.

Problem Definition

GA currently provides magnetic, radiometric, gravity and digital elevation data from Australian National, State and Territory Government geophysical data archives through a number of services. One of these is GADDS, which provides the data for download. However, subsequent processing may require further data manipulation (such as cut-setting) and access to proprietary software. Furthermore, the processing may be complex and require significant processing power. Additionally, GA are continually seeking to make their wealth of Gephysical data easily accessible to the community.

GA require a solution that will make their Geophysical data easily available to researchers and work seamlessly with their processing workflows.

Key Objectives

ASRDC will work with GA to achieve the following objectives:
  • Hosting of data (at NCI as an official mirror)
  • Infrastructure to host SISS services (at NCI)
  • Accessibility of hosted services
  • Suitable resources for service deployment and support

Project Scope

The project covers the following Geophysics data:
  • Magnetic
  • Radiometric
  • Gravity

The uses cases covered can be found in the implementation pages: ...

Key Features

The project will deliver the following:

  • Geophysical data officially mirrored at NCI
  • SISS deployment at NCI to reveal the Geophysical data interoperably
  • Integration with HPC infrastructure
  • Web portal interface

  • ...

Out of Scope Key Features

The Project will not deliver the following:
  • Data processing algorithms - this is the domain of the researcher

Related Projects/Areas

The following projects are related to this project:
Project/Area Impact
Geodesy project Geodesy project provides boiler-plate demonstration of requisite components for VEGL


The key stakeholders have been identified as:
Name Role
GA Geophysics Admin Key administrator and custodian of the data and the deployment
ASRDC Assist with implementing services for data interoperability deployment
Geophysics Community Key end-user group
AuScope Community Benefiting end-user group
ANDS Maintains a national research data registry

High Level Plan

  • July 2010
    • [separate project] Migrate Geodesy Project (data, services, processing workflow) to NCI
      • this includes establishing infrastructure (servers to host services)
      • this includes GeoNetwork deployment and configuration (metadata)
    • GA provides Geophysics data to ASRDC for analysis/investigation
    • GA provides Geophysics data to NCI - NCI establish an official mirror of the Geophysics data
    • GA provides Geophysics processing workflow to ASRDC for analysis/investigation
    • Coverage service investigation/proofing wrt processing integration
    • Portal requirements and use-case scoping

  • August 2010
    • [separate project] Migrate Geodesy Project (data, services, processing workflow) to NCI (cont'd)
    • VEGL Portal development based on use cases

  • September - October 2010
    • VEGL Portal development based on use cases
    • Phase 1 deployment
      • Deploy coverage services at NCI (simple configuration to reveal Geophysics coverages via Thredds & possibly WMS)
      • Develop and test VEGL Portal based on Geodesy portal - on CSIRO infrastructure utilising Grid computing (Globus backend) provided by ARCs
      • Develop and test Thredds consumption of Geophysical data on VEGL Portal
      • Demo test portal implementation

  • November - January 2011
    • Refine implementation and use cases to incorporate feedback from demo
    • Phase 2 deployment at NCI
      • Develop and test VEGL Portal based on Geodesy portal - on NCI infrastructure utilising Cloud computing (Amazon Elastic backend) provided by NCI
      • integration with processing infrastructure/workflows
      • registration of processing runs

  • February 2011
    • Establish Framework (policy/governance) for managing registry data and datasets
    • Publish metadata to ANDS
    • Training, Documentation and governance handover to GA/NCI

  • March - July 2011
    • ASRDC provide maintenance and support

Major Assumptions

It is assumed that:
  • GA will establish an official mirror of GA Geophysical data at NCI
  • Geophysical data has appropriate licensing to be able to be distributed via the services stack
  • NCI will provide appropriate infrastructure for hosting of necessary services stack
  • NCI have and will provide support for future sustainability of services and subsequent updates

Major Constraints

The project is constrained by:
  • Completion date must be no later than 1/1/2011.
Topic revision: r6 - 15 Oct 2010, UnknownUser