The AuScope National Virtual Core Library (NVCL) is a component of the Federal Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). The project involves collaboration between CSIRO, AuScope and all State and Territory geological surveys and is supported by AuScope.

The NVCL is an Australia-wide drill core database comprising high-resolution imagery and mineralogical data from spectroscopic scanning. The data can be used to further the understanding of the properties of the upper one to two km of the Australian crust and facilitate geoscience research. The data is being collected using CSIRO's HyLogger-system and is made available to the public via a web-based delivery system hosted by the AuScope Discovery Portal.

Information on the MRT HyLogger and how to access this facility can be found here.


Mineral Resources Tasmania received its HyLogger in October 2009. It was installed at its Mornington Core Library and a program of scanning drill core associated with characteristic mineral deposits in Tasmania and regional mapping projects was started. In August 2011, the HyLogger was upgraded with the addition of a TIR (Thermal InfraRed) spectrometer, which allows the identification of more minerals (such as quartz, feldspars and other silicates).

Getting the data

Scanned core is processed to initially to optimise imagery, tag depths accurately, mask out areas which are not core, create mosaic images and automatically identify minerals. Holes with at least this level of processing can be found by searching MRT's drill hole database  for "Only Hylogged holes", and are labelled "Yes".

In additional processing, a spectral geologist critically reviews the automated mineralogy producing a more accurate mineralogical interpretation and creates a number of measures (scalars) of relevant spectral and mineralogical variables, e.g. albedo, accentuated core colour and the intensity or wavelength of a particular infrared absorption feature. Additional assay or other downhole measurements (e.g. magnetic susceptibility) may also be imported into the dataset. Holes with this level of processing can also be found by searching MRT's TIGER drill holes database and are labelled "Yes - Published to the National Virtual Core Library", and include a link to the NVCL.

The NVCL can be searched seamlessly across states and territories via its map-based viewer. Users can display drillhole imagery at impressive resolution and downhole graphs of some scalars. Users obtain full datasets directly from the NVCL or by requesting them from the originating geological survey. A typical dataset size is 700Mb for a 200m drillhole and can be viewed using "The Spectral Geologist" software (using a free Viewer licence).