Phanerozoic Synthesis Project
This project concluded 30 June 2008.
This project brought together and synthesised data and interpretation on aspects of the Australian Phanerozoic Era from both external and internal sources. It aimed to use these data and interpretations to facilitate understanding at a continental scale of the geodynamics and tectonics operating during the Phanerozoic Era, concentrating on the period 600-220Ma, in order to make predictions about the potential for undiscovered mineral systems.
The Australian Phanerozoic Era geological provinces host many significant ore deposits, including lead-zinc, gold, copper-gold, tin, tungsten, molybdenum, uranium, zinc and titanium. Exploration within these regions has been strongly commodity focussed. Accordingly, individual regions vary from strongly explored brownfields for certain commodities, and for specific exploration models, to frontier greenfields for other commodities and for exploration models based on new deposit-style models such as intrusion-related gold. Understanding the tectonics and geodynamics of these regions and the metallogenic implications of those features is fundamental to the prediction of the minerals systems and possible mineralisation which have not been considered previously.
The following regions (Figure 1) were part of this project:
- Lachlan Orogen (Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales)
- New England Orogen (New South Wales, Queensland)
- Thomson Orogen (New South Wales, Queensland)
- North Queensland Orogen.
The project aimed to enhance the energy and mineral prospectivity for the Phanerozoic regions of eastern Australia through:
- improved understanding of regional events/tectonic history and metallogenic implications
- improved understanding of basement structure and craton boundaries
- improved understanding of the largely undercover Thompson Fold Belt
- improved geochronology of important energy and mineral deposits.
A number of special projects were initiated as part of the Phanerozoic Synthesis Project, including:
- Samarium-Neodymium isotope maps of northern and southeast Australia
- dating of selected minerals deposits of eastern Australia
- geochronology for sediment provenance studies in New England and Thompson Orogen sediments.
Results from the special projects are currently being written up. Preliminary results are included within the synthesis report as well as within the downloadable presentations listed below in the project outputs.
Promoting opportunities for investment in mineral exploration through new pre-competitive geoscience information from syntheses of Australia's Phanerozoic Era geological provinces with the desired outcome of increasing mineral exploration leading to the discovery of energy and mineral deposits.
- report on geodynamic synthesis, metallogeny and energy and mineral potential of the Phanerozoic (600-220Ma) interval, for selected provinces and regions of Australia, delivered in a time-space framework - Geodynamic Synthesis of the Phanerozoic of Eastern Australia and Implications for Metallogeny
- a presentation at Digging Deeper, Brisbane and Townsville, November, 2007 on New insights into intrusion-related mineralisation in the Tasmanides
- a presentation on Australian granites through time, Three billion years of granite magmatism: Palaeo-Archaean to Permian granites of Australia, based on a Keynote presentation at the Sixth International Hutton Symposium, (Stellenbosch, South Africa, July, 2007)
- an extended abstract and presentation, Metallogenesis of Eastern Australia: Links to the Tectonic Evolution of the Tasman Orogen, to Mines and Wines 2010, Mudgee, September, 2010.
- an extended abstract and presentation in Armidale, November, 2010, Geochemistry and isotope systematics of Carboniferous to mid Triassic felsic magmatism in eastern Australia - putting the New England Orogen in its place, New England Orogen 2010 (interim title).
- additional geodynamic synthesis of the north Queensland region can be found in the Regional Geodynamics Project, in particular Geodynamic Synthesis of the North Queensland region and Implications for Metallogeny. A similar geodynamic synthesis of South Australia, Geodynamic Synthesis of the Gawler Craton and Curnamona Province, also is available.
- Glen, R.A. 2005. 'The Tasmanides of eastern Australia', Terrane Processes at the Margins of Gondwana. Geological Society of London Special Publication 246, pp. 23-96
- VandenBerg, A.H.M., Willman, C.E., Maher, S., Simons, B.A., Cayley, R.A., Taylor, D.H., Morand, V.J., Moore, D.H and Radojkovic, A. 2000 (eds.) The Tasman Fold Belt in Victoria. Geological Survey of Victoria, Special Publication, Melbourne, 462 pp.
- Seymour, D.B. and Calver, C.R (compilers). 1995. Explanatory notes for the time-space diagram and stratotectonic elements map of Tasmania: TASGO NGMA project, sub-project 1: geological synthesis. Mineral Resources Tasmania. Tasmanian Geological Survey Record 1995/01, 62 pp.
- Bain, J.H.C. and Draper, J.J (eds). 1997. North Queensland Geology. Bulletin of the Australian Geological Survey Organisation 240, and Queensland Department of Mines and Energy Geology 9.