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ABSTRACT: Impact of basement architecture on the evolution of the petroleum systems of the Canning Basin, Western Australia

Romine, Karen1, Lynn Pryer2, Peter Stuart-Smith2, Peter Thomas3, Larry Wakefield4, and Jane Blevin5
(1) SRK Consulting, Deakin West, Australia 
(2) SRK Consulting 
(3) Woodside Offshore Petroleum Pty Ltd, Perth 
(4) c/- CSIRO Petroleum Resources, Glen Waverley, Australia 
(5) Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Canberra, Australia

The evolution of the Canning Basin was fundamentally and continuously controlled by the structural grain, composition and age of the basement. Basement architecture developed during the 4byr Archaean and Proterozoic tectonic history that pre-dates Paleozoic basin formation. A key basement element, the Lasseter Shear Zone (LSZ), acted both passively and actively to 'decouple' the Western Australian cratonic blocks and basins from those of Central Australia during Paleozoic deformation. The LSZ acted as a crustal-scale accommodation zone, controlling both compression in the Amadeus Basin and extension in the Canning Basin.

A NE-trending segment of the LSZ, the Halls Creek Mobile Zone (HCMZ), bisects the Canning Basin into two 'compartments' that responded differently to stress during episodes of Paleozoic deformation resulting ultimately in the subdivision of the basin into four sub-basin compartments. Basement character and block boundaries controlled the basin's development throughout its history, the distribution of sediments, patterns of erosion, development and orientation of new structures, focus of reactivation of existing structures and the development of petroleum systems.

The interaction of tectonism and the phased dissolution of Ordovician salt are key factors in one of the newest plays, situated on the northern margin of the Kidson Sub-Basin. In this play, some parallels are drawn with the prolific Eastern Flank of the South Oman Salt Basin. As a result of the new understanding of Canning Basin development, several areas of new potential prospectivity have emerged.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia