Basin history Tectonic evolution

The formation of the Bowen Basin began in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian with tectonic extension (Cadman et al., 1998; Elliott, 1989; Draper, 2013). Extensional subsidence during the Early Permian led to the deposition of the earliest known sedimentary rocks in the basin (Cadman et al., 1998). During this time, volcanic deposits formed east of the Roma Shelf, and andesitic rocks were extruded near the Auburn Arch (Cadman et al., 1998). Subsidence continued steadily into the Early Triassic, driving continued deposition (Draper, 2013). During the Late Triassic, deposition ceased, with an approximately 30 million year period of erosion marking the divide between the Permian-Triassic Bowen Basin and the Jurassic-Cretaceous Surat Basin (Cadman et al., 1998). The Surat Basin began forming due to thermal subsidence following the Hunter-Bowen Orogeny, after deposition of the sedimentary rocks of the Bowen Basin (McKellar, 1998; Fielding et al., 1993). Deposition of most sedimentary sequences is attributed to large inland fluvial systems across an alluvial plain, interspersed with swamps, lakes and deltas (Exon, 1976; Rohead-O’Brien, 2011). Sediment input was largely controlled by the steady rate of subsidence (Fielding et al., 1993). Early sedimentation patterns provide evidence for periods of erosion and tectonic reactivation from underlying faults in the Bowen Basin (McKellar, 1998; Fielding et al., 1993). Basin formation ceased once uplift began during the Middle Cretaceous (Yago, 1996). Subsequently, volcanic activity during the Cenozoic resulted in localised compression and some folding (Yago, 1996; Fielding et al., 1993; Finlayson et al., 1988; Brown et al., 1983).

The basement rocks of the Clarence-Moreton Basin are remnants of an accretionary wedge of pre‑Permian crust that formed from westerly dipping subduction at a nearby plate boundary (Cadman et al., 1998). Volcanic activity is evident in the rock record through the Late Triassic, as well as uplift and erosion (Cadman et al., 1998). Compressive tectonic activity resulted in reverse faulting, four way dip closures on faults and the formation of intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks throughout the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene (Cadman et al., 1998). Volcanism and intrusives

Volcanic activity occurred during the Early Permian in the Bowen Basin. This led to the formation of the Combarngo Volcanics to the east of the Roma Shelf, as well as andesitic extrusives (Camboon Volcanics) near the Auburn Arch (Cadman et al., 1998).

In the Surat Basin, Jurassic volcanism in the east contributed significant amounts of lithic detritus that were subsequently incorporated in the sedimentary record of the basin (Exon, 1976). Andesitic volcanism during the Middle and Late Jurassic also contributed material to the Springbok Sandstone, Orallo Formation and Westbourne Formation in the north of the basin (Exon, 1976).

Through the Middle and Late Triassic volcanic activity in the Clarence-Moreton Basin formed the Copes Creek Tuff and the Chillingham Volcanics (Cadman et al., 1998). During the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene tectonic activity formed numerous igneous rock bodies (intrusive and extrusive) throughout the basin (Cadman et al., 1998). The Mount Warning volcanic complex and the Main Range and Lamington volcanic flows, as well as various sills, were also formed during this time (Cadman et al., 1998).

Last updated:
5 January 2018
Thumbnail of the Maranoa-Baloone-Condamine subregion

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