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Geology and Petroleum Potential of Adelie Coast Margin, East Antarctica

J. Wanneson

The few rock outcrops on Adelie Coast-Wilkes Land consist mainly of Precambrian plutonic rocks and metasediments. On the continental margin, several multichannel seismic surveys, including the 1982 IFP survey, reveal the presence of a thick sedimentary basin, especially beneath the outer continental shelf and upper slope, where it may exceed 6,000 m.

This basin results from the creation and evolution of a continental margin, initiated some 100 Ma from the separation of Australia and Antarctica. Beneath the outer shelf, which is 400-500 m deep, the sedimentary series consist of four units separated by three major unconformities: (1) a predrift unit including a Precambrian basement, possible Paleozoic and early Mesozoic sediments, and a Mesozoic syn-rift sequence; (2) an upper Eocene to Oligocene unit in a shallow marine environment; and (3) a Neogene glacial prograding unit.

The predrift and early postrift units are considered to be a promising target with reference to other passive margins, although no major hydrocarbon accumulation has been discovered as yet on the Australian conjugate margin.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.