Lithology and provenance of late Eocene - Oligocene sediments in eastern Taranaki Basin margin and implications for paleogeography
Hopcroft, B. S. (2009). Lithology and provenance of late Eocene - Oligocene sediments in eastern Taranaki Basin margin and implications for paleogeography (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2793
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2793
The latest Eocene and Oligocene was a time of marked paleoenvironmental change in Taranaki Basin, involving a transition from the accumulation of coal measures and inner shelf deposits to the development of upper bathyal environments. Up until the end of the Early Oligocene (Lower Whaingaroan Stage) Taranaki Basin had an extensional tectonic setting. Marine transgression culminated in the accumulation of condensed facies of the Matapo Sandstone Member of the lower part of the Ngatoro Group. During the Late Oligocene (Upper Whaingaroan Stage) Taranaki Basin's tectonic setting changed to one of crustal shortening with basement overthrusting westward into the basin on Taranaki Fault. The major part of the Ngatoro Group in thickness, including the Tariki Sandstone Member, Otaraoa Formation, Tikorangi Formation and Taimana Formation, accumulated in response to this change in tectonic setting. Various methods of stratigraphic and sedimentological characterisation have been undertaken to evaluate the stratigraphy of the Ngatoro Group. Wireline log records have been calibrated through particle sizing and carbonate digestion of well cuttings. A suite of wireline motifs have been defined for formations and members of the Ngatoro Group. The integration with other lithological and paleoenvironmental data sources has helped to better define the Late Eocene - Oligocene stratigraphy and sedimentary facies for eastern Taranaki Basin margin. U-Pb geochronology by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has been used to determine detrital ages for over 350 zircons from 13 samples of Late Eocene - Oligocene sandstone samples in eastern Taranaki Basin and correlative onshore North Island units. The spread of ages (1554 - 102 Ma) and the proportion of ages in particular age bands integrated with modal petrography data have aided provenance evaluation. A range of source rocks contributed to the Late Eocene - Oligocene sedimentary units analysed, mainly the Waipapa Terrane (Early Permian to Late Jurassic) as shown by 206Pb/238U zircon ages and the abundance of fine-grained sedimentary rock fragments observed in samples. The Median Batholith (i.e. Darran/Median Suite and Separation Point Suite) is also identified as a significant source, indicated by Early Triassic to Early Jurassic and Early Cretaceous 206Pb/238U zircon ages and an abundance of quartz in samples. Other minor sources identified include Murihiku and Caples Terranes, Rakaia Sub-terrane and possibly the Karamea Batholith. The Tariki Sandstone and the Hauturu Sandstone have the same source, with the main 206Pb/238U zircon ages of aggregated samples (124 - 116 Ma and 121 Ma, respectively) consistent with a Separation Point Suite/Median Batholith (124 - 116 Ma) source. Derivation of sediments from a landmass that existed to the east and southeast of the Wellington area has been inferred for the Late Eocene - Oligocene units, with subsequent migration of sediments northward into Taranaki Basin and the Waikato Region (i.e. Te Kuiti Group depocentre) via longshore drift. New provenance data have been used to revise understanding about the development of eastern Taranaki Basin margin through the Late Eocene to earliest Miocene. Three new paleogeography maps are presented for the Runangan (Late Eocene), Lower Whaingaroan (Early Oligocene) and Upper Whaingaroan (early-mid-Oligocene). New paleogeography interpretations illustrate a dramatic change in the basin development between Matapo Sandstone (Lower Whaingaroan) and Tariki Sandstone (Upper Whaingaroan) deposition, consistent with an Upper Whaingaroan age for the start of reverse movement on Taranaki Fault.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses