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Mapping undercover integrated geoscientific interpretation and 3D modelling of a Proterozoic basin

Lara Ramos, Sandra Occhipinti, Alan Aitken, Crystal LaFlamme, Mark Lindsay

Gravity and 3D modelling combined with geo-chemical analysis examine the subsurface within and below the poorly exposed Palaeoproterozoic Yerrida Basin in central Western Australia. Understanding the structure of a region is important as key features indicating past geodynamic processes and tectonic activity can be revealed. However, in stable, post-depositional tectonic settings only the younger sedimentary units tend to be widely exposed, rendering direct observation of basement and intrusive rocks impossible.

Geophysical imaging and modelling can reveal the structure of a region undercover. High-magnitude density anomalies around the basin cannot be reconciled with current geological knowledge in the case presented here. The gravity anomalies infer an abundance of buried and high-density material not indicated by the surface geology. A hypothetical causative source for the high-magnitude gravity anomalies is mafic rocks that were intruded and extruded during basin rifting.