Our Research

Environmental Geochemistry

Acid sulfate soils


East Trinity: a national demonstration site for innovative acid sulfate soil management
The aim of this site is to trial and assess the efficacy of innovative hydrogeochemical control methods and risk assessment methods on acid sulfate contaminant remediation on a field scale in a nationally-significant location.
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Arsenic geochemistry

Site 46

Arsenic mobility in re-flooded soils
Southern Cross GeoScience's research aims to understand the geochemical processes controlling arsenic mobility in re-flooded soils. In particular the interactions between arsenic and minerals that are common in such soils (e.g. schwertmannite).
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Sulfur geochemistry

Fe (III)

Schwertmannite stability in wetland soils
A research stream within Southern Cross GeoScience aims at understanding the stability of schwertmannite in acid-sulfate soil environments. Schwertmannite is a ferric-oxyhydroxysulfate mineral that forms in acidic, iron- and sulfate-rich waters.
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Iron geochemistry

Iron-monosulfide formation and oxidation in acid-sulfate soils
Poor water quality in acid sulfate soil (ASS) landscapes is a widely recognised international problem. Research and management over the past three decades have focused largely on pyrite oxidation and the release of acid-sulfate leachate into floodplain waterways.
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Environmental Geochemistry

Iron sulfide formation and element mobility in sulfidogenic environments
Understanding the formation of iron sulfides and the mobility of elements, particularly iron and arsenic, is an important aspect of managing wetland soils, benthic sediments and groundwater systems. This is a rapidly expanding area of research within Southern Cross GeoScience, supported by a 5-year Australian Research Council Project.
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Coastal Floodplain Wetlands


Estuarine water quality
The impact of coastal floodplain drainage systems on estuarine water quality is a significant resource management issue. The water quality of many coastal estuaries in eastern Australia is periodically degraded via acidification and deoxygenation.
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Freshwater Remediation

Freshwater remediation of acid sulfate soils and biogeochemical redox cycling of Fe-S-C in the rhizosphere
A variety of remediation techniques have been developed to reduce the impacts of acid sulfate soil wetland drainage on downstream water quality. This study explores the geochemical consequences of freshwater re-flooding of two acid sulfate soil wetlands.
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Hydrology, biogeochemistry and management of drained coastal acid sulfate soil backswamps in the lower Clarence River floodplain
Drainage systems on coastal floodplains have greatly increased the rate of acidity entering creeks and estuaries from acid sulfate soils.
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Impacts of climate change on coastal floodplain wetland biogeochemistry 300-300

Impacts of climate change on coastal floodplain wetland biogeochemistry and surface water quality
There is broad community concern about global warming, climate change and rising sea-levels.
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Wetland biogeochemistry
Biogeochemical processes in coastal wetlands are highly dynamic. They involve complex interactions between hydrology, vegetation communities, mineralogical transformations and the cycling of redox sensitive elements.
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River basin and Water Shed

Riverine processes 300-300

Fluvial geomorphology and riverine processes
Fluvial depositional sequences such as alluvial floodplains and terraces are significant features in the geomorphic development of inland channel systems.
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restoration of lateral hydrological connectivity 300-300

Restoring hydrological connectivity of surface and ground waters: biogeochemical processes and environmental benefits
This project examines the restoration of lateral hydrological connectivity to improve floodplain structure and function.
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All Raw Materials Varieties - small

A multidisciplinary approach to the study of stone tool economics and trade routes in the Brunswick River Valley, NSW
Research examines both coastal and upland archaeological sites, stone raw material procurement and artefact typology in the Tweed and Byron Shires of northern New South Wales (NSW).
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Obsidian, a volcanic glass

Reconstruction of exchange and trade routes of the peri-Mediterranean obsidian archaeological assemblages
Obsidian, a volcanic glass, is a particularly well-suited tool for understanding past trade and travel networks. Each obsidian flow has a unique geochemical 'fingerprint', which allows each artefact to be traced back to its geological source and initial archaeological collection region. While most analysis techniques allow the characterisation of the main obsidian sources, some artefacts provenance remain problematic, requiring more enhanced methods.
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sampling sediment around fossil jaw kenya

Pleistocene archaeology and paleoenvironments of the Lake Victoria basin in Kenya
Lake Victoria is the largest body of water in Africa and is surrounded by a diverse mosaic of forest and grassland habitats. This dynamic environment provides the context for highly variable but still poorly documented archaeological and paleontological records of the Lake Victoria basin.
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tomb of the healers San Jose de Moro

South American Pre-Hispanic culture (Peru): Detailed archaeogeochemical analyses of the Mochica pottery
The study focuses on improving our understanding of the fabrication technic, the material provenance and the use of raw material of the Mochica ceramic. The four sites San José de Moro, Dos Cabezas, Pacatnamu and Charcape are located in the lower part of the Jequetepeque Valley (Peru).
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Barium distribution in fossil teeth

Trace element and isotope analyses in fossil teeth: reconstructing the past with biomarkers
In the paper published by Nature in 2013, we show that these early life dietary transitions are recorded in teeth and remain stable in fossil remains from thousands of years ago. Using special analytical chemistry and microscopy techniques we are able to trace changes in the element content of teeth with precision timing.
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Homo heidelbergensis skull

A new timeline for Human evolution and migration
To understand human evolution, archaeologists require precise chronologies so as to compare and contrast fossil collections. To minimise the impact of direct dating on valuable and oftentimes fragile archaeological samples, new methods and protocols for non-destructive U-Th and ESR analyses are being developed and investigated.
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diprotodon skeleton near Leichhardt River

Developing reliable chronologies for extinct Australian Pleistocene megafauna from museum fossil collections
Recently developed direct dating methods, particularly high-throughput MC-ICP-MS U-series dating, are used to produce reliable chronological datasets for extinct megafauna, based on fossils held in museum collections.
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