NTGS geoscience projects

Greater McArthur Basin 3D model

The greater McArthur Basin is a regional correlation between the Palaeo- to Mesoproterozoic McArthur and Birrindudu basins and the Tomkinson Province.

It has an approximate area of 550,000 km2 in the northern NT. Despite containing key stratigraphic intervals that are prospective for both mineral and petroleum resources relatively little is known about the basin architecture and geological evolution.


This project integrates existing and new geological and geophysical data to develop a 3D model to improve understanding of the structural framework and tectonic history of the greater McArthur Basin.

Findings include:

  • the modelling process follows a “top-down” approach (progressively focussing on deeper units), with the first stage targeting the Mesoproterozoic Wilton package. The package has been separated into 7 groups of sedimentary formations appropriate to the scale of the model. The model is gridded following the stratigraphy and constitutes a good framework for statistical assessment and testing
  • regional scale modelling presents depth to top Bessie Creek-Corcoran group and base Roper Group unconformity and contains 73 faults
  • modelling has shown the Wilton package to have little deformation across the greater McArthur Basin
  • the structural model highlights the importance of large scale inherited NW-SE faults such as the Mallapunyah Fault zone and Bulman Fault.

Bruna P-O and Dhu T, 2015. 3D Model of the greater McArthur Basin, Version 2015.1. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Digital Information Package DIP 012.

Bruna P-O, Dhu T, Owen N, Revie, D, Munson T and Close D, 2015.  3D architecture of the Wilton package throughout the greater McArthur Basin: structural implications for petroleum systems at various investigation scales: in ‘Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) 2015. Record of Abstracts’. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Record 2015-001.

Bruna P-O, Dhu T, Close DF and Scrimgeour I, 2014. Insights into the structure of the McArthur Basin using the implicit 3D modelling method: preliminary results: in ‘AESC 2014 (22nd Australian Geological Convention)’, July 7 – 10, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Record of Abstracts 03REE-04, 149-150.

Bruna P-O, Dhu T and Close DF, 2014. 3D modelling of subsurface structure and economic targets of the McArthur Basin (NT, Australia): preliminary results: in ‘Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) 2014. Record of abstracts’. Northern Territory Geological Survey, Record 2014-001.

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Last updated: 27 September 2019


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