The origin of basin-scale syn-extesnional synclines on the southern margin of the Northern Carnarvon Basin
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Fault geometry exerts a dominant structural control on the deformation of hanging wall sequences during extension and contraction. Numerical, kinematic and sandbox modelling studies have demonstrated that characteristic anticline–syncline pairs are produced during the extension of ramp-flat faults. These features are commonly recognized in smaller fault-scale structures, but remain underappreciated in larger, basin-scale settings. The Lewis Trough, situated within the Northern Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia, is a basin-scale, largely unfaulted syncline with an associated anticline along its western flank, rather than the fault-related graben typical of the region. We present kinematic models demonstrating that a SE-dipping, ramp-flat fault geometry can produce relative highs and lows in Jurassic strata as well as honouring the asymmetrical onlap pattern within the Lewis Trough. This study indicates that the Lewis Trough formed during the Early Jurassic, a period typically associated with high rates of extension and not during the Late Triassic Fitzroy Compression Event. This study also highlights the importance of the Locker Shale in partitioning deformation of the Permian and Mesozoic fault systems and as a diffuse zone that variably partitions displacement between stacked Permian and Mesozoic fault systems.
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