Adavale Basin

Location Map

Adavale Basin in relation to Australia

Map showing Adavale Basin in relation to Australia
© Geoscience Australia

Basin Details and Geological Overview

The Early Devonian to Early Carboniferous Adavale Basin of central Queensland is entirely subsurface, occupies about 60 000km2 and contains about 8000m of sediments and minor volcanics. Over 20 petroleum wells have been drilled in the basin. The basin was initiated in the late Early Devonian (Emsian) as a rifted back-arc basin west of a volcanic arc subduction zone complex. The basal unit, which comprises volcanics, volcaniclastics and continental redbeds was deposited during this rifting phase. As extension continued, a widespread Emsian to Eifelian fluvio-deltaic complex was deposited, followed by an Eifelian to early Givetian unit, comprising marine shales in the east and fluvio-deltaic and marginal marine sandstones in the west.

This was followed by a period of restricted clastic input with deposition of shallow water carbonates. As convergence began from the east, tectonic uplift barred the basin, with concomitant deposition of extensive evaporites. Continued compression from the east was accompanied by major tectonic uplift of the Anakie-Nebine volcanic arc complex. This provided the source for the final phase of sedimentation in the basin, a succession of interbedded shales and sandstones followed by a syntectonic mollasse-type, coarse siliciclastic succession. Convergence continued until the Middle Carboniferous, with the development of a series of thrust faults. Uplift and erosion continued well into the Late Carboniferous with only the remnants of what once was a more extensive basin being preserved. Deposition of the overlying Galilee Basin commenced in the Late Carboniferous.

The basin produces wet gas from the fault bounded, anticlinal trap of the Gilmore field, which is piped to Barcaldine and to the Ballera-Brisbane pipeline. The wet gas and associated oils are from a Devonian marine source which generated in the Carboniferous, and dry gas from a subsequent heating of those same source rocks which began in the Cretaceous.


Stratigraphic column of the Adavale Basin (After Boreham et al., 1998)

Stratigraphic column of the Adavale
Basin (After Boreham et al., 1998)
© Geoscience Australia

Regional Cross-Sections

Adavale Basin Cross-section (After Boreham et al., 1998)

Adavale Basin Cross-section
(After Boreham et al., 1998)
© Geoscience Australia

Key References

Author(s) Year Title
Boreham, C.J. and de Boer, R.A. 1998 Origin of Gilmore gas and oil, Adavale Basin, central Queensland. The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, 38(1), 399-420
De Boer, R. 1996 The integrated development of Gilmore Field and an independent power plant. The APPEA Journal, 36, 117-129.
Auchincloss, G. 1976 Adavale Basin IN Economic Geology of Australia and Papua New Guinea. 3. Petroleum. Leslie, R.B., Evans, H.J., & Knight, C.L. (Editors). AusIMM Monograph Series, 7, 309-315
Miyazaki, S. and Ozimic, S. 1987 Adavale Basin, Queensland. Australian Petroleum Accumulations. Report 4.
Finlayson, D.M., Leven, J.H. and Etheridge, M.A. 1988 Structural styles and basin evolution in Eromanga region, eastern Australia. American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Bulletin 72(1), 33-48.