Bridging the gap between the South and North Australian Cratons
Mark McGeough (PIRSA)
Martin Fairclough (PIRSA)
Bruce Goleby (Geoscience Australia)
Two federal government geoscience initiatives the AuScope National Earth Infrastructure Program and the Onshore Energy and Security Initiative, represent significant opportunities for exploration geoscience in South Australia – particularly in the acquisition of deep seismic data.
In collaboration with the Continental Evolution Research Group (CERG) and PIRSA the CMXUC submitted a proposal to AuScope, “Bridging the gap between the South and North Australian Cratons” in early 2007. The proposal is seeking support for ~250km seismic reflection profile that will bridge the gap between the northern margin of the South Australian Craton and the Musgrave Block in central Australia. The aim is to image the crustal structure of Palaeo- and Mesoproterozoic rocks that is concealed beneath the Neoproteroic Officer Basin. This will provide important constraints on the growth and amalgamation of the Australian continent in the Proterozoic. Specifically it will enable the determinination of the location and dip of major structures, the connectivity of upper and lower crustal (and mantle?) structures and characterize regions of crust based on their reflectivity. This will help to identify and evaluate the role of crustal-scale structures that may be implicated in terrane assembly – for example differentiating between potential sutures, strike-slip systems of significant displacement or intracratonic faults of lesser tectonic significance.
The proposed seismic traverses represent a significant opportunity for the CMXUC; to constrain geologic models and generate research funding opportunities.