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Scientific article
English

Discovery of large-scale buried volcanoes within the Cenozoic succession of the Prawn Platform, offshore Otway Basin, southeastern Australia

Published inMarine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 123, no. 104747
Publication date2021
Abstract

Volcanic rocks occur in different types of sedimentary basins, especially those evolving from lithospheric stretching. While volcanoes and other igneous rocks are widespread in the onshore Otway Basin, well-preserved volcanoes have not been documented in the offshore portion of the basin. Here, we analysed high-quality 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection datasets to investigate the origin and distribution of the enigmatic, kilometre-scale buried mound-shaped structures in the Prawn Platform, offshore Otway Basin. Detailed seismic characterisation enabled the identification of 19 mounds, ranging from ~90–400 m in height and 1.8–6 km in diameter. Relatively small (~0.2–11 km2) igneous sills are associated with these mounds. Based on their external geometries and internal seismic architectures, we interpret these mounds as dyke-fed shield volcanoes. Distinct seismic facies characterise the buried volcanoes, including the main volcanic eruption centre, tuff cone, and pyroclastic mass-wasting deposits. Interbedded extrusive and sedimentary rocks are mainly observed within volcanoes over 250 m high, and are associated with gullies along their flanks, indicating these volcanoes may have been subject to erosion. The volcanoes occur at three stratigraphic levels: late Eocene (~37 Ma), mid-Oligocene (~27–29 Ma), and early Miocene (~20 Ma), within the age of the Older Volcanics of the southern Australian margin. We propose that this newly discovered volcanism in the offshore Otway Basin was caused by edge-driven convection (similar mechanism to adjacent onshore volcanism), associated with the fast spreading rate of the Southern Ocean since the late Eocene (~40 Ma). The discovery of these buried volcanoes extends our understanding of magmatism in the Otway Basin, especially regarding the offshore extension of the Older Volcanics.

Keywords
  • Buried volcanoes
  • Igneous sills
  • Seismic reflection data
  • Volcanic seismic facies
  • Offshore Otway Basin
Citation (ISO format)
NIYAZI, Yakufu et al. Discovery of large-scale buried volcanoes within the Cenozoic succession of the Prawn Platform, offshore Otway Basin, southeastern Australia. In: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2021, vol. 123, n° 104747. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2020.104747
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ISSN of the journal0264-8172
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Creation02/24/2021 2:57:00 PM
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