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Carbonate Sedimentology, Reef History and MVT Deposits,

Canning Basin, WA
Research Affiliations
Degree Type/Name
Student Support

A/Prof Annette George

Centre for Exploration Targeting
Ph.D, M.Sc or Honours - Geology, Earth Science, Minerals
Geoscience, Petroleum Geoscience
Degree in Geology or other kind Geoscience degree.
The student undertaking an Honours research project related to
mineral or petroleum resources is eligible for financial support
provided by the UWA Geoscience Foundation.
This project is a collaboration with Teck Cominco Pty Ltd.

These projects are aimed at strengthening sedimentological skills particularly facies analysis
and environmental interpretation, development of depositional and paleogeographic models
and the integration of sedimentological data with other data sets such as structural,
biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic. Skills gained are highly relevant basin-hosted
mineral deposits, petroleum exploration of carbonate reservoirs, and hydrogeological
problems related to roundwater.
Project Description
Carbonate reef complexes of Late Devonian age are spectacularly exposed in a number of
limestone ranges in the western Kimberley region of northwestwern Australia (Fig. 1). They
are among the best preserved late Paleozoic reef complexes anywhere in the world. The
exhumed reef complexes represent the shallow northern flank (Lennard Shelf) of the Fitzroy
Trough where mixed carbonatesiliciclastic deposition took place during active rifting. In
addition, mineral exploration has generated considerable diamond drillcore which can be
examine facies
relationships in
the subsurface.

Fig.1 Windjana Gorge, Napier Range (view to NW) showing spectacular exposure of
Devonian reef carbonates, Canning Basin, WA.
Various projects are possible depending on student preference and company interests but are
generally aimed at elucidating aspects such as reef evolution in what was a tectonically active
basin, or the significance of facies relationships and stacking patterns for MVT (lead-zinc)
mineralisation. Facies analysis and biostratigraphy structure are typically combined in these
projects. Industry projects are typically based on analysis of diamond drillcore but may also
include fieldwork depending on location of the project. In addition, projects which focus on the
Late Devonian extinction events are also possible and may include aspects of vertebrate
paleontology as appropriate.
Recommended Reading
George, A.D., Chow, N. & Trinajstic, K.M., 2002. Integrated approach to platform-basin
correlation and deciphering the evolution of Devonian reefs, northern Canning Basin, Western
Australia. Proceedings of the West Australian Basins Symposium 3, Perth, October, 817-835.
George, A.D. & Chow, N. 2002. The depositional record of the Frasnian-Famennian boundary
interval in a fore-reef succession (Napier Formation), Canning Basin, northwestern Australia.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Special Issue: Late Devonian Biotic
Crisis: Ecological, Depositional and Geochemical records, 181, 347-374.
Tucker, M. & George, A. 2005. Western Australia's Great Barrier Reef: the Devonian of the
Canning Basin. Geoscientist, v. 15, no. 12, 4-7.