Jurassic uplift and erosion of the northeast Queensland continental margin: evidence from (U–Th)/He thermochronology combined with U–Pb detrital zircon age spectra

Y. Cheng, C. N. Todd, R. A. Henderson, M. Danišík, F. Sahlström, Z. Chang, I. Corral

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

4 Citas (Scopus)


The Jurassic–Cretaceous Great Artesian Basin is the most extensive, and largest volume, sedimentary feature of continental Australia. The source of its mud-dominated Cretaceous infill is attributed largely to contemporary magmatism along the continental margin to the east, but the source of its Jurassic infill, dominated by quartz sandstone, remains unconstrained. This paper investigates the question of a Jurassic sediment source for the northern part of the basin. Jurassic uplift and exhumation of the continental margin crustal sector to the east provided the primary Jurassic sediment source. (U–Th)/He data are presented for zircon and apatite from Pennsylvanian to mid Permian granitoids of the Kennedy Igneous Association distributed within the northern Tasmanides between the Townsville and Cairns regions and for coeval granites of the Urannha batholith from the Mount Carlton district (N Bowen Basin), also within the northern Tasmanides. The data from zircon indicate widespread Jurassic exhumation of a crustal tract located to the east of the northern Great Artesian Basin and largely occupied by rocks of the Tasmanides. Detrital zircon age spectra for samples of the Jurassic Hutton and Blantyre sandstones from the northeastern margin of the Great Artesian Basin show their derivation to be largely from rocks of the northern Tasmanides. In combination, the detrital age spectra and (U–Th)/He data from zircon indicate exhumation owing to uplift generating appreciable physiographic relief along the north Queensland continental margin during the Jurassic, shedding sediment westward into the Great Artesian Basin during its early development. A portion of (U–Th)/He data for zircon are consistent with late Permian–mid Triassic exhumation within the Tasmanides, attributable to the influence of the Hunter--Bowen Orogeny. Evidence of Cretaceous and Paleocene exhumation episodes is also indicated for some samples, mainly by apatite (U–Th)/He analysis, consistent with data previously published from fission track studies. Overall, new data from the present study reveal that the exhumation related to Jurassic regional uplift and the subsequent erosional reworking of the northeast Australian continental margin is critical for the evolution and development of the northern side of the Great Artesian Basin in eastern Australia. Apart from this, another two previously suggested Permian–Triassic and Cretaceous exhumation and uplift episodes along the northeast Australian continental margin are also confirmed by the dataset of this study.KEY POINTS U–Pb detrital zircon ages of sandstone samples from the northeastern Eromanga Basin reveal Paleozoic (480–280 Ma) and Proterozoic (1800–1400 Ma) age clusters. (U–Th)/He zircon and apatite dating results of granitoids samples from Cairns, Townsville and the Mount Carlton districts are dominated by Jurassic (198–164 Ma) and Permian–Triassic (272–238 Ma) age clusters. Combination of above two datasets proves the regional uplift-driving Jurassic exhumation episode in the northeast Australian continental is vital for the development of the northern Great Artesian Basin.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)591-604
Número de páginas14
PublicaciónAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
EstadoPublicada - 18 may. 2020
Publicado de forma externa


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