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Timing of Deposition and Geochemistry of Source Rocks in the Georgina Basin, Australia Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Miles, Naomi E
Supervisor and department
Harris, Nicholas (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Creuser, Robert(Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Gingras, Murray (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This study characterized two organic-rich source rock formations from three different sub-basins of the Georgina Basin, Central Australia, using the 187Re – 187Os isotope system and a suite of major, minor, and trace elements. The major organic-rich source rock in the Georgina Basin, the lower section of the middle to late Cambrian Arthur Creek Formation, overlies two minor source rocks, the middle Cambrian Hay River and Thorntonia Limestone Formations. Two major sub-basins, the Toko Syncline and the Dulcie Syncline in the southern Georgina Basin, controlled many aspects of sedimentation, organic matter accumulation and hydrocarbon generation. The Arthur Creek Formation was deposited in both sub-basins, but at different times, according to the trilobite record. The ages of the Arthur Creek and Thorntonia Limestone Formations are currently defined based on specific trilobite species from the Central Australian Trilobite Zonation. Biostratigraphy in the Georgina Basin tied to the Central Australian Trilobite Zonation identified specific species of trilobites that are similar to globally recognized trilobites with isotopically defined ages. In the Dulcie Syncline, the Arthur Creek Formation was deposited between ~509 and 501 Ma, whereas in the Toko Syncline the ages were from ~503 to 498 Ma based on ages from the biostratigraphic record. Farther to the north, in the Undilla sub-basin, the Thorntonia Limestone deposited synchronously with the Dulcie Syncline Arthur Creek Formation between ~508 and 505 Ma. Based on the 187Re – 187Os isotopic ages determined in this study, the ages of the Arthur Creek Formation in both sub-basins are younger than the biostratigraphically determined ages. In the Dulcie Syncline, the Arthur Creek Formation Re-Os age is 481 ± ii 10 Ma. The Toko Syncline Arthur Creek Formation is 477.5 ± 9.5 Ma. The trace element suites were able to characterize specific paleoenvironments, controlled by basin geometry, during deposition of the Arthur Creek and Thorntonia Limestone Formation. In the Dulcie Syncline, the trace element profiles indicate deposition in a heavily restricted basin. Trace element abundances in the Arthur Creek Formation of the Toko Syncline show a progression from severe restriction towards a better-circulated sub-basin. Towards the top of the Arthur Creek Formation, marginal regions of the Toko Syncline experienced regular oxidation but deeper regions of the basin did not experience any oxidation. The Thorntonia Limestone Formation showed signs of regular oxidation, possibly seasonally related. Rock-eval data for both formations indicated that the Arthur Creek and Thorntonia Limestone Formations reached the oil window.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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