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Queensland Government Mining Journal Summer 2009 30

identify which structures bound the

major depositional systems, and
to determine how these structures
were inverted during subsequent
explore possible links between
crustal structure, particularly deep
crustal structures, and large economic
mineral deposits
locate areas which have potential
for energy resources, particularly
geothermal energy.
As well as collecting new data, two
Mount Isa deep seismic lines shot by
BMR in 1994 were reprocessed, so that
all deep seismic lines in northwest
Queensland were processed using
similar methodologies.
Locations of the Mount Isa survey lines
are given in Figure 2.
Key results of the Mount Isa survey are:
The identication of deep crustal
extensional faults which dene the
margins of half grabens. Some of
these faults may dene the western
margin of the Mount Isa Inlier.
Deep seismic reection interpretation
Mount Isa and IsaGeorgetown surveys
In 2006, deep seismic reection
proling was carried out along six
transects across the Mount Isa Inlier.
The seismic lines were jointly funded
by the Geological Survey of Queensland
(GSQ), Geoscience Australia (GA),
the Predictive Mineral Discovery
Cooperative Research Centre and
Zinifex Pty Ltd. (now OZ Minerals). In
2007, a further three seismic lines were
collected by GA and GSQ from Cloncurry
to south of Charters Towers via Croydon
and Georgetown. Signals were recorded
to ~20 seconds two-way travel time
(TWT), which equates to about 60km
in depth. The recent lines are among
the latest in a series of deep seismic
proles conducted across Queensland
since 1980 (Figure 1).
Mount Isa Deep Seismic Survey,
The aims of the 2006 survey in the
Mount Isa Inlier were to:
determine the deep structure of the
Mount Isa Inlier, thereby assisting the
development of geodynamic models
for the Inlier
Geoscientists use deep
crustal reection proling to
image the earths crust down
to about 60km in depth. This
information is used to provide
a third dimension to our
understanding of the geology
of a region. A review of the
deep crustal seismic method
is given in Murray (2007).
Figure 1 - Map of Queensland showing deep seismic reection surveys conducted between 1980 and 2007.
A: Queensland showing deep seismic
lines 1980-2005
B: Queensland showing deep seismic
lines up to 2006-07
Isa-Georgetown-Cape river survey
Mount Isa Survey

Figure 3 shows examples of
extensional faults dening the
western edge of grabens.
Recognition of the coincidence of
mineral deposits with deep seated
(half graben-bounding) faults
(Figure 4).
An understanding of the fundamental
structure of the Mount Isa Inlier. There
are three different structural domains
on Figure 5. The western end, which
has west dipping thrust faults, covers
the area around the Rufus Fault Zone
and may be more closely related
to the Tennant Creek Block than to
typical Mount Isa geology. The central
part of the section covers the Western
Fold Belt, and is characterised by
deeper thruststypical thick-skinned
tectonics. In the east, faults sole out
above 10km depth, and are typical
of a thin-skinned tectonic style. The
change in structural style is one
Figure 2 - Deeps seismic lines from the 2006
Mount Isa Inlier survey plotted on a TMI
aeromagnetic image.
Figure 3 - Part of seismic line 06GA-M2 showing growth on an extensional fault system, which has been reactivated as a thrust fault during
later regional contraction causing basin inversion.
Figure 4 - Part of seismic line 06GA-M3 showing the relationship of mineralisation at Mammoth Mine (Gunpowder), and at Mount Kelly, to
deep structures in the seismic section.

Queensland Government Mining Journal Summer 2009 32

difference between the Western and
Eastern Fold Belts in the Mount Isa
Inlier 2008.
The recognition of possible
geothermal resources, with deep-
seated granites overlain by a
23km thick blanket of sedimentary
rocks (Figure 6).
IsaGeorgetownCharters Towers
Survey, 2007
In 2007, three seismic lines were
collected linking the Mount Isa survey
of 2006 to eastern Queensland
(Figure 1). The rst of these lines,
07GA-IG1, between Cloncurry and
Croydon, has been processed and
interpreted and was released at GSQs
Digging Deeper 6 seminar in December
Key results from seismic line 07GA-IG1
(Figure 7) are:
The recognition of a major, deep
crustal, west-dipping feature which
denes the eastern edge of Mount
Isa-type crust. Magnetotellurics,
which were also recorded along
the seismic line, record a change in
resistivity of the rocks across this
same structure. Other deposits are
known to occur in a similar geological
setting, and the Ernest Henry deposit
and the recent Mt Dore discovery
occur above this inferred suture.
East of this structure, a distinctive
crustal signature with highly reective
middle-lower crust is overlain by
non-reective upper crust. The non-
reective upper crust may equate to
the Croydon Province but the highly
reective middle-lower crust may be
a new, unknown geological province,
or may possibly be the more reective
rocks of the Georgetown Province.
A marked step in the Moho near the
eastern end of the line is coincident
with a set of reections which
penetrate into the upper mantle.
These reections are interpreted to be
a fossil subduction zone.
A previously unrecognised
sedimentary basin (named the
Millungera Basin) is evident in the
data from seismic line 07GA-IG1,
and its tentative outline interpreted
from airborne magnetic data is
shown in Figure 8. It is also evident
at the northeastern end of seismic
line 06GA-M5 of the 2006 Mount Isa
survey. The ages of the sediments
in the Millungera Basin are currently
unknown, but the basin may be
prospective for hydrocarbons, if deep
enough to intersect the oil window.
It may also blanket granites, which
are interpreted in the seismic data
to underlie the basin, and thus the
possibility exists for a geothermal
energy resource. It is hoped to
conduct further research into this
basin to dene its potential.
Figure 5 - Seismic line 06GA-M6 showing the structural framework of the entire crust.
Figure 6 - Western end of seismic line 06GA-M5 showing probable granites (possible heat source) overlain by a blanket of sedimentary rocks
~23km thick.


Figure 7 - The top two panels show the interpreted and uninterpreted versions of the seismic line 07GA-IG1. The lower panel is a
magnetotelluric model for the entire line.
Figure 8 - Inferred extent of the Millungera Basin, based on interpretation of
First Vertical Derivative airborne magnetic data.
Laurie Hutton
Regional Geoscientist
Geological Survey of Queensland
+61 7 3362 9347
This paper is a product of the Mount Isa-
Georgetown team, and we thank other members
of the team for their contributions: Richard
Blewett, David Champion, Ross Costelloe,
George Gibson, Paul Henson, Josef Holzschuh,
David Huston, Leonie Jones, Russell Korsch,
Natalie Kositcin, Lex Lambeck, Jenny Maher,
Tony Meixner, Peter Milligan, Aki Nakamura,
Narelle Neumann, Malcolm Nicoll, Indrajit
Roy, Erdin Saygin (all Geoscience Australia);
Ian Withnall (GSQ), Ben Jupp, Barry Murphy
(pmd*CRC) and Larry Stewart (OZ Minerals).
We thank David Huston, Paul Henson and Ian
Withnall for comments on this abstract. RJK
publishes with the permission of the Chief
Executive Ofcer, Geoscience Australia.
Murray, C., 2007, Deep crustal reection
proling. Queensland Government Mining
Journal, Summer edition 2007 p9294.