Dataset: Frontier basins of the west Australia continental margin: Mineralogy of seabed sediments.


Geoscience Australia marine reconnaissance survey GA2476 to the west Australian continental margin was undertaken as part of the Australian Government's Offshore Energy Program between 25 October 2008 and 19 January 2009 using the German research vessel RV Sonne. The survey acquired geological, geophysical, oceanographic and biological data over poorly known areas of Australia's western continental margin in order to improve knowledge of frontier sedimentary basins and marginal plateaus, and allow assessment of their petroleum prospectivity and environmental significance. Four key areas were targeted: the Zeewyck and Houtman sub-basins (Perth Basin), the Cuvier margin (northwest of the Southern Carnarvon Basin), and the Cuvier Plateau (a sub-feature of the Wallaby Plateau). These areas were mapped using multi-beam sonar, shallow seismic, magnetics and gravity. Over the duration of the survey a total of 229,000 km2 (26,500 line-km) of seabed was mapped with the multibeam sonar, 25,000 line-km of digital shallow seismic reflection data and 25,000 line-km of gravity and magnetic data. Sampling sites covering a range of seabed features were identified from the preliminary analysis of the multi-beam bathymetry grids and pre-existing geophysical data (seismic and gravity). A variety of sampling equipment was deployed over the duration of the survey, including ocean floor observation systems (OFOS), deep-sea TV controlled grab (BODO), boxcores, rock dredges, conductivity-temperature depth profilers (CTD), and epibenthic sleds. Different combinations of equipment were used at each station depending on the morphology of the seabed and objectives of each site. A total of 62 stations were examined throughout the survey, including 16 over the Houtman Sub-basin, 16 over the Zeewyck Subbasin, 13 in the Cuvier margin, 12 over the Cuvier Plateau and four in the Indian Ocean. This dataset comprises total chlorin concentrations and chlorin indices measured on the upper 2 cm of seabed sediments. For more information: Daniell, J., Jorgensen, D.C., Anderson, T., Borissova, I., Burq, S., Heap, A.D., Hughes, M., Mantle, D., Nelson, G., Nichol, S., Nicholson, C., Payne, D., Przeslawski, R., Radke, L., Siwabessy, J., Smith, C., and Shipboard Party, (2010). Frontier Basins of the West Australian Continental Margin: Post-survey Report of Marine Reconnaissance and Geological Sampling Survey GA2476. Geoscience Australia, Record 2009/38, 229pp

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