On being awarded his PhD in 1972, Arthur joined the Geological Survey's Mineral Resources Section, and commenced 1:250 000 scale geological mapping in the Pilbara Craton. Four years work in the east Pilbara, and one year in the west, led to a new geological interpretation of the Pilbara granite-greenstone terrane, which was published in GSWA Bulletin 127. One year of geological mapping in the Wheatbelt was followed, in 1979, by appointment as Officer-in-Charge of the newly opened Kalgoorlie Regional Office. Establishment of this office was extremely popular in the Eastern Goldfields and involved Arthur and other GSWA office staff in close liaison with companies, prospectors, and various local administrative bodies.
Promoted to Senior Geologist in 1981, Arthur moved back to Perth and commenced a metallogenic project in the Murchison. This work, completed in 1987, was published in GSWA Bulletin 137. Subsequent geological mapping in the Paterson Orogen, and a study of gold mineralisation in the Northeastern Goldfields, was followed (in 1994) by establishment of a major remapping project on the Pilbara Craton. As Project Manager for this project, Arthur heads a team of six GSWA geologists, working in close cooperation with a geological team from the Australian Geological Survey Organisation. Since 1980, Arthur has led two international geological excursions to the Pilbara Craton, and has become internationally recognized as a leading authority on the geology of the area.
Current research is focussed on improving our understanding of the crustal evolution of the northern Pilbara Craton between 3.5 and 2.9 Ga, and how differing depositional environments related to this evolution influenced the distribution of early life. Evidence comes from the Geological Survey of Western Australia’s extensive database on the Pilbara, including stratigraphy, geochronology and geochemistry. Interpretations are released through journal papers and GSWA reports, and in advice to other researchers.