Geoscience Australia - Product Database



Carpentaria Basin

Entity ID: 22190 Compiled by: Miyazaki, S. Year: 2002 Status: Defined

Last Revised: 2013

Rank: province Type: sedimentary Subtype: intracratonic Location: QLD, NT On-shore and off-shore

Synonyms: NA Symbol: NA

Minimum age: Cretaceous Age method: inferred, seismic interpretation

Maximum age: Jurassic Age method: inferred, seismic interpretation

Summary: The Jurassic to Cretaceous Carpentaria Basin is an intracratonic basin beneath the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Carpentaria lowlands containing less than 2 km of siliciclastic and lithic marine to non-marine sediments.

Area (square kilometres): 560000
approx. 380,000 km2 offshore
State: NT
State: QLD
Minimum present water depth (m): 0
Maximum present water depth (m): 70
Main rock types: siliciclastic sediments and sedimentary rocks
Cretaceous section more labile with minor carbonates
Main depositional environment: marine and non-marine
Minimum sediment thickness (m): 0
Maximum sediment thickness (m): 1800
Present crustal setting: continental
Country: AUS

Parent: No data

Child Provinces: No data

Adjoins - Laura-Lakefield Basin, Papuan Basin
Overlies - Bamaga Basin, Georgina Basin, Millungera Basin, Pine Creek Orogen, Tomkinson Province

Constituent units:

Events: No data

Mineral Deposits: Shelburne Bay

Key Reference: (Refid:-1)

Comments: Age information above refers to offshore part of basin. Basin is mapped & attributed to limit of Australian waters.

Overview: The Jurassic to Cretaceous intracratonic Carpentaria Basin lies beneath the Gulf of Carpentaria in offshore northern Australia, and beneath Tertiary sediments of the Karumba Basin onshore. Unlike the age-equivalent Eromanga and Surat basins which overlie large and thick older sedimentary basins, the Carpentaria Basin rests mainly upon an erosional surface of deformed Proterozoic rocks. Only a small portion of the offshore part of the basin overlies pre-Jurassic sedimentary rocks (Bamaga Basin). Offshore, the Carpentaria Depression in the Weipa Sub-basin is the major depocentre of the basin. The laterally extensive sedimentary succession is typically thin with a maximum thickness of about 1800 m offshore. Much of the Carpentaria Basin succession includes fine-grained, lithic marine rocks which are rarely preserved in outcrop. However, the Middle to Upper Jurassic units are predominantly quartz sandstones and are preserved to varying degrees along the eastern and southern margins of the basin. Within these basal units, thin coal seams and widespread reservoir quality sandstones have been the focus for coal and petroleum exploration. Neocomian shallow marine glauconitic sandstones are overlain by mostly fine-grained Aptian to Albian marine clastics containing potential source and seal facies. The source rock quality of the bituminous claystones of the Toolebuc Formation is excellent. These rocks are within the early stage of the oil generation window in the offshore Carpentaria Basin, as shown by drilling result from the Duyken-1 well, the only well drilled in the offshore part of the basin. The Carpentaria Basin formed the northern part of the Great Australian Superbasin that also included the Eromanga and Laura basins. Middle to Upper Jurassic sediments within the offshore part of the basin were sourced from the east. During Late Cretaceous time, the margins of the basin were locally faulted, uplifted and eroded prior to the commencement of sedimentation in the overlying Karumba Basin.

Images: Carpentaria Basin regional setting and sub-divisions (81 KB), Carpentaria Basin stratigraphy (141 KB), Carpentaria Basin regional cross-sections and locations (252 KB)

Other media: No data

Source Information:

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This report was generated on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:56:03 PM EST.