The Cooper and Eromanga Basins of South Australia and Queensland are the largest onshore hydrocarbon producing region in Australia. Igneous rocks have been documented infrequently within end of well reports over the past 34 years, with a late Triassic to Jurassic age determined from well data. However, the areal extent and nature of these basaltic rocks were largely unclear. Here, we integrate seismic, well, gravity, and magnetic data to clarify the extent and character of igneous rocks preserved within Eromanga Basin stratigraphy overlying the Nappamerri Trough of the Cooper Basin. We recognise mafic monogenetic volcanoes that extend into tabular basalt lava flows, igneous intrusions and, more locally, hydrothermally altered compound lava flows. The volcanic province covers ~7500 km2 and is proposed to have been active between ~180-160 Ma. We term this Jurassic volcanic province the Warnie Volcanic Province (WVP) after the Warnie East 1 exploration well, drilled in 1985. The distribution of extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks is primarily controlled by basement structure, with extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks elongate in a NW-SE direction. Finally, we detail how the WVP fits into the record of Jurassic volcanism in eastern Australia. The WVP is interpreted as a product of extension and intraplate convective upwelling above the subducting Pacific Slab. The discovery of the WVP raises the possibility of other, yet unidentified, volcanic provinces worldwide.
Bibliographical noteWe wish to thank Santos Ltd. for providing us with the Snowball 3D seismic survey. In particular we wish to thank Jenni Clifford and Lance Holmes who provided helpful feedback and 2D seismic lines covering the Lambda 1, Orientos 2 and Warnie East 1 wells. We also wish to thank Beach Energy, in particular Rob Menpes, for the helpful discussions and feedback on the manuscript in addition to helping us with the analysis of the magnetic data. The work contained in this paper contains work conducted during a PhD study undertaken as part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas [grant number NEM00578X/1] and is fully funded by NERC whose support is gratefully acknowledged. Lastly, the two anonymous reviews of the manuscript are thanked for their insightful and constructive comments that significantly improved the work presented.
- COOPER-EROMANGA BASIN