The geological evolution of the southern Taroom Trough and the overlying Surat Basin
Authors / CoAuthors
Isopach, structure contour, and palaeo-geological maps illustrate the geological development of the southern Taroom Trough and the lower part of the Surat Basin sequence.
The meridional southern Taroom Trough, 50,000 km2 in area, is a southerly subsurface extension of the outcropping Bowen Basin. It is fault-bounded to the east and plunges northward. The maximum thickness of sedimentary fill increases northward from less than 400 m to 10,000 m, and consists of Lower Permian marine sediments, Upper Permian coal measures, Lower Triassic redbeds, and Middle Triassic stream sediments. The trough's present western margin is depositional, but the faulted eastern margin started to form in the Late Permian in the south and in the Early Triassic in the north; movement ceased in the Early Triassic in the south and in the Late Triassic in the north. Tectonic movements did not recur until Late Jurassic time.
Late Triassic erosion preceded deposition of Surat Basin sediments. These sediments extended over ever wider areas, even the basal sands spreading far beyond the Taroom Trough. The fully-developed Surat Basin is 300,000 km2 in area, and contains up to 2500 m of dominantly continental Jurassic sediments and dominantly marine Lower Cretaceous sediments. Lower Jurassic stream sediments (the main petroleum producers of the basin) are thickest and coarsest above the Taroom Trough, suggesting steady subsidence and compaction of the trough sediments.
By the Late Jurassic this compaction had virtually ceased, and epeirogenic uplift had given the basin its present shape, with the Mimosa Syncline (above the Taroom Trough) and the south-westerly-trending Dirranbandi Syncline (above a basement depression) being major structural features.
Petroleum, which is probably derived from both Permian and Jurassic sources, is most abundant in the Lower Jurassic sandstone on either side of the Mimosa Syncline. Some aspects of the migration and trapping of Permian petroleum are discussed, and it is suggested that the Lower Jurassic Hutton Sandstone in the virtually unexplored Bollon area could be prospective.