Structural evolution of the South Nicholson region: insight from the 2017 L210 reflection seismic survey
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The structural evolution of the South Nicholson region is not well understood, hindering full appraisal of the resource potential across the region. Here, we outline new insights from a recent deep-reflection seismic survey, collected as part of the Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future initiative. The new seismic profiles, and new field observations and geochronology, indicate that the South Nicholson region was characterised by episodic development of a series of ENE-trending half grabens. These graben structures experienced two major episodes of extension, at ca. 1725 Ma and ca. 1640 Ma, broadly correlating with extensional events identified from the Lawn Hill Platform and the Mount Isa Province to the east. Southward stratal thickening of both Calvert and Isa Superbasin sequences (Paleoproterozoic Carrara Range and McNamara groups, respectively) into north-dipping bounding faults is consistent with syndepositional extension during half graben formation. Subsequent basin inversion, and reactivation of the half graben bounding faults as south-verging thrusts, appears to have been episodic. The observed geometry and offset are interpreted as the cumulative effect of multiple tectonic events, including the Isan Orogeny, with thrust movement on faults occurring until at least the Paleozoic Alice Springs Orogeny.
<b>Citation:</b> Carson, C.J.. Henson, P.A., Doublier, M.P., Williams, B., Simmons, J., Hutton, L. and Close, D., 2020. Structural evolution of the South Nicholson region: insight from the 2017 L210 reflection seismic survey. In: Czarnota, K., Roach, I., Abbott, S., Haynes, M., Kositcin, N., Ray, A. and Slatter, E. (eds.) Exploring for the Future: Extended Abstracts, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, 1–4.
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The structural evolution described here is derived from analysis of the South Nicholson Deep Crustal Reflection Seismic survey (L210, e.g. Carr et al., 2019, GA Record 2019/21), the complementary SHRIMP geochronology program and fieldwork, in collaboration with external collaborators (NTGS and GSQ). The interpretations may be subject to change as further information is acquired and analysed across the region (e.g. Barkly Deep Crustal Reflection Seismic Survey, L212 and proposed stratigraphic drilling).