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Type: Thesis
Title: 2D lithospheric imaging of the Delamerian and Lachlan Orogens, southwestern Victoria, Australia from Broadband Magnetotellurics
Author: Merrett, H. D.
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Physical Sciences
Abstract: A geophysical study utilising the method of magnetotellurics (MT) was carried out across southwestern Victoria, Australia, imaging the electrical resistivity structure of the lithosphere beneath the Delamerian and Lachlan Orogens. Broadband MT (0.001-1000 Hz) data were collected along a 160 km west-southwest to east-northeast transect adjacent to crustal seismic profiling. Phase tensor analyses from MT responses reveal a distinct change in electrical resistivity structure and continuation further southwards of the Glenelg and Grampians-Stavely geological zones defined by the Yarramyljup Fault, marking the western limit of exploration interest for the Stavely Copper Porphyries. The Stawell and Bendigo Zones also show change across the Moyston and Avoca faults, respectively. Results of 2D modelling reveal a more conductive lower crust (10-30 Ωm) and upper mantle beneath the Lachlan Orogen compared to the Delamerian Orogen. This significant resistivity gradient coincides with the Mortlake discontinuity and location of the Moyston fault. Broad-scale fluid alteration zones were observed through joint analysis with seismic profiling, leaving behind a signature of low-reflectivity, correlating to higher conductivities of the altered host rocks. Isotopic analysis of xenoliths from western Victoria reveal the lithospheric mantle has undergone discrete episodes of modal metasomatism. This may relate to near-surface Devonian granite intrusions constrained to the Lachlan Orogen where we attribute the mid to lower crustal conductivity anomaly (below the Stawell Zone) as fossil metasomatised ascent paths of these granitic melts. This conductivity enhancement may have served to overprint an already conductive lithosphere, enriched in hydrogen from subduction related processes during the Cambrian. A predominately reflective upper crust exhibits high resistivity owing to turbidite and metasedimentary rock sequences of the Lachlan Orogen, representative of low porosity and permeability. Conductive sediments of the Otway Basin have also been imaged down to 3 km depth southwest of Hamilton.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Physical Sciences, 2016
Where: Delamerian and Lachlan Orogens, Victoria
Keywords: Honours; Geology; magnetotellurics; electrical conductivity; Delamerian Orogen; Lachlan Orogen; lower crust; upper mantle; seismic reflectivity; southwest Victoria; Otway Basin
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