Stratigraphy of the Neoproterozoic to early Palaeozoic Savory basin, Western Australia, and correlation with the Amadeus and Officer basins

M. R. Walter, K. Grey, I. R. Williams, C. R. Calver

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    Abstract

    The Savory Basin in central Western Australia was recognized in the mid-1980s during regional mapping of very poorly exposed Proterozoic rocks previously assigned to the Bangemall Basin. All of the sedimentary rock units in the Savory Basin have been included in the Savory Group, which unconformably overlies the Mesoproterozoic Yeneena and Bangemall Groups. Correlation with adjacent basins is impeded by poor outcrop and the lack of subsurface information. Possible correlations have been investigated with the much better known Amadeus Basin to the east, and with the Officer Basin. Two correlations now clarify the age and relationships of the Savory Group. First, the Skates Hills Formation contains distinctive stromatolites previously recorded from the Bitter Springs Formation of the Amadeus Basin. In addition, the Skates Hills and Bitter Springs Formations have many lithological features in common. This correlation is strengthened by comparison with surface and subsurface units in the northern Officer Basin. Second, the intergrading sandstone-diamictite of the Boondawari Formation is very similar to the intergrading Pioneer Sandstone-Olympic Formation of the Amadeus Basin, and the overlying siltstone closely resembles the Pertatataka Formation and its correlative the Winnall beds. The stromatolitic and oolitic carbonates at the top of the Boondawari Formation are broadly comparable with those of the Julie Formation (which grades down into the Pertatataka Formation). Support. for this set of correlations comes from carbon isotope chemostratigraphy. The stromatolites include two new forms described herein, Eleonora boondawarica and Acaciella savoryensis, together with a third form too poorly preserved to be formally defined. The age of the upper sandstones is unknown. The McFadden Formation seems to have its provenance in the Paterson Orogen. The southeastern extension of this orogen is the Musgrave Block, where compression followed by uplift at about 560-530 Ma (Peterman Ranges Orogeny) led to the formation of large amounts of conglomerate (Mt Currie Conglomerate) and sandstone (Arumbera Sandstone). If tectonic events in the Paterson Orogen were contemporaneous with those in the Musgrave Block, the McFadden Formation would correlate with the Arumbera Sandstone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)534-546
    Number of pages13
    JournalAustralian Journal of Earth Sciences
    Volume41
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Keywords

    • proterozoic
    • savory basin
    • stratigraphic correlation
    • stromatolites

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