Dataset: Crustal Transects of the Great Australian Bight : A Cruise Proposal in Support of the Ocean Drilling Program and the Law of the Sea


The southern margin of Australia has long been considered an example of a classic passive rifted continental margin. In recent times, it has been cited as an example of a 'lower plate' margin in the terminology describing detachment models of passive margin formation.However, despite extensive study by both industry and government since the early 1970s, some fundamental aspects of the structure and geological history of the margin remain speculative.

It is proposed here to use the AGS0 research vessel Rig Seismic to acquire 4087 km of deep-seismic data (16 s record length) in the central Great Australian Bight (GAB) and across the continental margin south of Western Australia. The survey has three principal objectives:

  1. To enhance understanding of the tectonic evolution / event history of the southern margin in support of DPIE' s Acreage Release Program and thus to encourage successfulpetroleum exploration.

  2. To provide the necessary framework data in support of a proposal submitted to the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) for drilling in the GAB; and

  3. To provide data in the GAB that support Australia's claim to a Legal Continental Shelf beyond the 200 n.m. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as defmed under the 1982 UNConvention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The specific scientific aims of the work include:

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