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Type: Journal article
Title: Cenozoic deformation in the Otway Basin, southern Australian margin: implications for the origin and nature of post-breakup compression at rifted margins
Author: Holford, S.
Tuitt, A.
Hillis, R.
Green, P.
Stoker, M.
Duddy, I.
Sandiford, M.
Tassone, D.
Citation: Basin Research, 2014; 26(1):10-37
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1365-2117
Statement of
Simon P. Holford, Adrian K. Tuitt, Richard R. Hillis, Paul F. Green, Martyn S. Stoker,Ian R. Duddy, Mike Sandiford and David R. Tassone
Abstract: There is growing recognition that pulses of compressive tectonic structuring punctuate the postbreakup subsidence histories of many ‘passive’ rifted continental margins. To obtain new insights into the nature and origin of compression at passive margins, we have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the post-breakup (<43 Ma) deformation history of the offshore Otway Basin, southern Australian margin, using a regional seismic database tied to multiple wells. Through mapping of a number of regional intra-Cenozoic unconformities we have determined growth chronologies for a number of major anticlinal structures, most of which are ~NE–SW-trending folds that developed during mild inversion of syn-rift normal faults or through buckling of the post-rift succession. These chronologies are supplemented by onshore structural evidence and by thermochronological data from key wells. Whilst our analysis confirms the occurrence of a well-documented pulse of late Miocene–early Pliocene compression, post-breakup deformation is not restricted to this time interval. We highlight the growth of a number of structures during the mid-late Eocene and the Oligocene-early Miocene, with evidence for considerable temporal and spatial migration of strain within the basin. Our results indicate a long-lived ~NW–SE maximum horizontal stress orientation since the mid-late Eocene, consistent with contemporary stress observations but at variance with previous suggestions that this stress orientation was initiated in the late Miocene by increased coupling of the Australian-Pacific plate boundary. We attribute the observed record of deformation to a compressional intraplate stress field, coupled to the progressive evolution of the boundaries of the Indo-Australian Plate, ensuring that this margin has been subject to ongoing compressional forcing since mid-Eocene breakup. Our results indicate that compressional deformation at passive margins may be more common than is generally assumed, and that passive margin basins with evidence for protracted post-breakup deformation histories can provide useful natural laboratories for obtaining improved understanding of the evolution of intraplate stress fields over geological timescales.
Rights: © 2014 The Authors
RMID: 0030007676
DOI: 10.1111/bre.12035
Appears in Collections:Australian School of Petroleum publications

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