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Gravity ground survey data compilation for Australia

This repository contains code to download, clean, and combine all available Geoscience Australia ground gravity data.

Maps of the gravity disturbance, observation height, and point density from the compilation.

You can run and explore the code online through Binder

Version Date DOI
v2.0 2021-08-24 doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.13643837
v1.0 2020-10-28 doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.13643837.v1

Citing this compilation

If you use this dataset in a publication, please cite both the original compilation by Wynne (2018) and the figshare archive of this compilation:

Wynne, P. (2018). NetCDF Ground Gravity Point Surveys Collection (Version 1.0). Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia).

Uieda, L. (2021). Ground gravity data compilation for Australia version 2.0. figshare.


The data compilation is available for download as a single netCDF file and also a plain-text CSV file (which is larger and doesn't include the metadata) from figshare:

You can download and cache the data directly from your Python code using Pooch:

import xarray as xr
import pooch

# Download and cache the netCDF version (preferred)
fname = pooch.retrieve(

# Load the data with xarray
data = xr.load_dataset(fname)

If you need the CSV version, you can use this instead:

import pandas as pd
import pooch

# Download and cache the CSV version (no metadata)
fname = pooch.retrieve(

# Load the data with pandas
data = pd.read_csv(fname)

Paste the either of the code blocks above in your Jupyter notebooks or scripts to let Pooch automatically download the file, store it in a cache folder, check the download integrity, and return to you the path to the cached file.

The download only happens the first time this code is run. Afterwards, Pooch finds the data in the cache and only returns the link (so you can use this code everywhere you need this file).


Based on the compilation by Wynne (2018), which is distributed under a CC-BY 4.0 license (see the source).

NOTE: After I did all of this, I discovered GeoscienceAustralia/geophys_utils which would have allowed me to download the individual surveys using a web API from Python. This would have saved the work of finding, downloding, and combining the metadata files.

The metadata records (including the download link) for all of the original surveys were downloaded manually in batches of 100 (😞). These records are available in the metadata folder.


  • notebooks/1-catalogue.ipynb: combines all these records into a single file (metadata/records.csv) and includes the proper download URL and file size (as returned by the server).
  • notebooks/2-download.ipynb: uses Pooch to download all survey netCDF files to a data folder. The 1631 surveys total less than 400 MB so it's not a large amount of data. The individual surveys will not be included in the repository to avoid making it too big.
  • notebooks/3-merge.ipynb: loads all surveys, selects the more relevant data, filter out unreliable surveys, merge them into a single dataset, and standardize the metadata (following CF conventions). Saves the data compilation to netCDF in
  • notebooks/4-explore.ipynb: explore the compiled gravity data using plots and maps.


All source code is made available under a MIT license. You can freely use and modify the code, without warranty, so long as you provide attribution to the original authors. See LICENSE for the full license text.

The data compilation is distributed under a CC-BY license.


Compilation of all Geoscience Australia ground gravity data, filtered for data quality, converted to the WGS84 datum, and combined in a single file.




Code of conduct