Original paper

Mineral deposits related to Australian continental ring and rift structures with some terrestrial and planetary analogies

O'Driscoll, E. S. T.; Campbell, I. B.

Global Tectonics and Metallogeny Volume 6 Number 2 (1996), p. 83 - 101

60 references

published: Jul 31, 1996

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ArtNo. ESP136000602001, Price: 19.00 €

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Abstract

Following the pioneering work of Hills on Australian continental lineament tectonics, extensive studies have demonstrated the relationship of crustal lineaments to major ore and petroleum deposits. This relationship has been identified in the continental lineaments seen in gravity anomaly maps as belts of attenuation that mark crustal rifts. Large crustal ring structures have also been identified in South Australia and in southeastern Australia. In conjunction with linear crustal rifts, these ring structures appear to exercise an important additional influence on mineral and petroleum distribution by providing conduits for the flow of crustal fluids and controlling crustal movements during the development of basin subsidence and structuring. The positions of prominent Australian transregional crustal rings and rifts coincide with identifiable responses in surface and subsurface geology, and in some instances can be correlated with local irregularities in the Moho revealed in deep seismic sections. Some comparisons are made with the terrestrial findings of Saul and Kutina, and with observations of planetary impact rings made by Spudis and by Wichman and Schultz, that have features similar to those of the Australian rings. Consideration is given to the combined effects of exogenic and endogenic processes in the development of Australian rings and their location in conjugate linear rifts comparable with the global shear pattern advanced by Rance. The study provides evidence for a three dimensional association of near-surface resource distribution to Australian transcontinental rings and rifts, which in turn can now be correlated with morphological irregularities in the Moho and deeper parts of the crust. Giant resource-bearing ring and rift associations in Africa and North America indicate a similar deep crustal relationship and suggest the involvement of a global dynamic process.

Keywords

rift structuresterrestrialpetroleumexogenicsubsurface geology