Andrew Gibb Maitland ( 1864 - 1951)

Maitland was a geologist who qualified as a civil engineer at the Yorkshire College of Science, Leeds. He was appointed second assistant geologist to the Geological Survey of Queensland and in 1888. In 1891 Sir William MacGregor engaged him to undertake a geological survey of British New Guinea. His reports and maps are among the first accounts of the geology of Papua. Maitland resumed his varied survey work in Queensland but became increasingly involved with study of the intake beds of the Great Artesian Basin.

When H. P. Woodward (1858-1917) resigned as government geologist of Western Australia to join the mining rush, Maitland accepted the offer to succeed him in July 1896. He completed field-work in the gulf country before leaving Queensland in October, reaching Perth to find he had been gazetted government geologist from 1 November.

He was an acknowledged authority on underground water and had early successes in the West such as locating bores between Geraldton and North West Cape that still supply water. His predictions of artesian water resources, for instance beneath the Nullarbor Plain, likewise proved valuable. Water and gold were then crucial to prosperity in the West and Maitland and his staff inevitably devoted much attention to the goldfields. He himself spent several long and arduous seasons from 1903 in the Pilbara region, mapping a vast area and seeking geological order among its ancient rocks. In 1901 he had worked in unknown parts of the Kimberley division as geologist to an expedition led by F. S. Drake-Brockman.

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