3 years ago

Spatial and temporal detrital zircon U-Pb provenance of the hydrocarbon-bearing upper Roper Group, Beetaloo Sub-basin, Northern Territory, Australia

The subsurface Beetaloo Sub-basin of the McArthur Basin, Northern Territory, Australia, comprises a succession of shallow-water, dominantly marine, clastic sedimentary rocks that form the main depocentre of the Mesoproterozoic Roper Group. LA-ICP-MS detrital zircon U–Pb age data presented here provide new age constraints on the upper Roper Group and reveal spatial and temporal provenance variations illustrating the evolution of the basin and its margins. The maximum depositional ages of the Bessie Creek Sandstone and the Velkerri Formation of the Roper Group are constrained to 1386 ± 13 Ma and 1298 ± 47 Ma, respectively, whereas the overlying Moroak Sandstone has no younger detrital zircons, so its maximum depositional age is also constrained as 1298 ±47 Ma. The Kyalla Formation was deposited after 1313 ± 47 Ma, and two, as yet, informally defined and ungrouped latest Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic sedimentary units, the lower and upper Jamison sandstone, have maximum depositional ages of 1092 ± 16 Ma and 959 ± 18 Ma, respectively. Large detrital zircon age datasets indicate that zircons from the Maiwok Subgroup were derived from Palaeoproterozoic and earliest Mesoproterozoic rocks. These are consistent with derivation from the surrounding exposed basement. Detrital zircon age variations up-section suggest a systematic temporal change in provenance. The oldest formation analysed (Bessie Creek Sandstone) has a major source dated at ca. 1823 Ma. Rocks of this age are common in northern basement exposures. Samples from the overlying Velkerri Formation, show derivation from a ca. 1590 Ma source, consistent with rocks exposed in Queensland, or the Musgrave Province. The Moroak Sandstone and the Kyalla Formation show progressively more ca. 1740 Ma detritus, which is consistent with sources in the Arunta Region and western Mount Isa Province. We suggest that this variation is recording exposure and denudation of western Queensland rocks at ca. 1400 Ma due to rifting between Laurentia and the Northern Australian Craton. From then until at least ca. 1320 Ma, the increased ca. 1740 Ma detritus suggests continued uplift in Queensland and possible widening of the source region to include the Eastern Fold Belt of Mount Isa. In addition, the Arunta Province is likely to have been exposed and denuded. The Jamison sandstone and overlying Hayfield mudstone represent a marked change in provenance and were deposited after the Musgrave Orogeny, representing a newly-recognised siliciclastic basin that may have formed a shallow, long wavelength foreland basin to areas uplifted during the Musgrave Orogeny.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0301926817303613

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