Ipswich Basin

Location Map

Location Map of the Ipswich Basin in relation to Australia

Location Map of the Ipswich Basin in relation to Australia

Basin Details and Geological Overview

The Middle Triassic Ipswich Basin is a small, frontier petroleum basin located in southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales. The onshore component extends about 8000 km2 and is bounded by the D'Aguilar Block to the north, the Beenleigh Block to the southeast and the Ipswich Fault to the west. The eastern extent of the basin is not well known but probably covers an offshore area of about 1000 km2 under Moreton Bay. The Ipswich Basin is overlain by the Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic Clarence-Moreton Basin in the south and by the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic Nambour Basin in the east.

A period of oblique extension during the Scythian-Carnian led to the deposition of coal measures of the underlying Nymboida Basin. After a hiatus, the Ipswich Basin formed in the Carnian during a period of thermal subsidence. The basin-fill is dominated by sandstones, shales, conglomerates and coals deposited in alluvial, fluvial and lacustrine environments, with some interbedded volcanics. Petroleum exploration in the Ipswich Basin has been limited to 19 wells, half less than 250 metres deep, with numerous unconfirmed oil shows and gas shows, but no commercial discoveries. Potential gas prone source rocks are present in the Ipswich Basin. The poor reservoir quality of sandstones and the lack of regional seals reduce the potential for conventional hydrocarbons. However, potential coal seam methane resources may be present. Coals are an important resource in the Ipswich Basin and are mined at Swanbank.

Cross-section

Cross-section

Image Korsch et al., 1989

Key References

Author(s) Year Title
Almond, C.S. 1982 Stratigraphic drilling report - GSQ Ipswich 26. Queensland Government Mining Journal, 83, 514-523.
Cranfield, L.C., Schwarzbock, H., & Day, R.W. 1976 Geology of the Ipswich and Brisbane 1:250,000 sheet areas. Geological Survey of Queensland, Report 95.
Cranfield, L.C., Schwarzbock, H. 1976 Ipswich Basin. In R.B. Leslie, H.J. Evans and C.L. Knight, (Editors), Economic geology of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Volume 3. Petroleum. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Monograph Series, 7, 452-454.
Department of Resource Industries, Queensland 1989 Petroleum Resources of Queensland: Review to June 30, 1989. Petroleum Resources Assessment and Development Subprogram, Department of Resource Industries, Queensland. Pages, 99-103.
Hawkins, P.J., & Balfe, P.E. 1980 Departmental stratigraphic drilling in Queensland. Queensland Government Mining Journal 81, 74-109.
Helby, R.J., & Partridge, A.D. 1979 A palynological reconnaissance of some coal bores and petroleum exploration wells in the Early Mesozoic of southeastern Queensland. Unpublished report held by the Department of Resource Industries as CR 7006.
Jorgenson, J.T., & Barton, R.H. 1966 Regional photogeology of the Ipswich Basin-Esk Trough, Queensland. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APEA) Journal, 121-125.
Korsch, R.J., O'Brien, P.E., Sexton, M.J., Wake-Dyster, K.D., & Wells, A.T. 1989 Development of Mesozoic transtensional basins in easternmost Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 36-1, 13-28.
Mengel, D.C. 1976 Ipswich Coalfield, Queensland. In Traves, D.M., King, D., & Knight, C.L., (Editors). Economic Geology of Australia and Papua New Guinea, Volume 2- Coal. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne, 290-297.
Staine, H.R.E., Falkner, A.J., & Thornton, M.P. 1995 Ipswich Coal Field. In Geology of Australian Coal Basins, Ward, C.R., Harrington, H.J., Mallett, C.W., & Beeston, J.W., (Editors). Geological Society of Australia, Coal Geology Group, Special Publication, 455-464.

Topic contact: petroleum@ga.gov.au Last updated: November 28, 2012