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PESA WA August Luncheon: Evolution of “Tres Hombres”: A Large Mid-crustal Structure within the Northern Beagle Sub-basin, Offshore WA

Thursday, August 16, 2018 @ 12:00 - 14:00

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Guest Speaker: Chris Hurren

Chris Hurren graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2005 with a BSc (Hons) in Geology. After that he gained an MSc in Petroleum Geoscience from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2007.

He started work as a geologist for Star Energy LTD in London before joining BHP Billiton and moving to Perth in 2011 where he worked on a variety of both exploration and production projects within the

Exmouth Basin and Northern Beagle Sub-basin. More recently he spent a year in Houston working with the Gulf of Mexico exploration team, and has since returned to Perth working on North West Shelf projects.

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Evolution of “Tres Hombres”: A Large Mid-crustal Structure within the Northern Beagle Sub-basin, Offshore WA

Chris Hurren


The northern Beagle Sub-basin lies within the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia.  It comprises a thick (~ 5km) Jurassic syn-post rift sedimentary succession. In many respects it has a relatively conventional rift basin architecture, with large normal faults defining thickening growth sequences within an overall NNW trending Jurassic depocentre. There is, however, one large and obvious mid crustal domal structure (“Tres Hombres”) that impinges upon the overlying basin geometry. This talk explores the origin, timing and tectonic significance of this somewhat enigmatic structure using insights from high quality, deep record, modern 3D seismic data.

Seismic mapping reveals a dome-like structure with a diameter of more than 30km, and with vertical relief of over 5km, elevating the overlying basin sequences above regional levels. The dome has clearly influenced fault architecture in the overlying basin, which is revealed in in exquisite detail in complex map patterns of faulting within the Jurassic intervals. This faulting is also seen to detach within a lower Triassic shale prone section, and is intimately related to an even older Permian sequence, in which large scale carbonate shelf units act as localised mechanical discordances upon which faults appear to nucleate. The spatial distribution of these Permian carbonate shelf sequences also provides some evidence for the relative timing of the overall doming, as do isopach maps within the overlying Triassic and Jurassic section.

Several potential mechanisms have been considered for the emplacement of this feature, including; basement cored compression, reactivated extensional basement faulting, remnant Palaeozoic topographic relief, salt-related diapirism, or plutonic/igneous intrusive activity. Pros and cons for each of these mechanisms are discussed, each of which have important implications for the tectonic and thermal evolution of the Beagle Basin.


Thursday, August 16, 2018
12:00 - 14:00


Parmelia HIlton
14 Mill Street, Perth, WA 6000 Australia


PESA Western Australia
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