Megasequence architecture of Taranaki, Wanganui, and King Country basins and Neogene progradation of two continental margin wedges across western New Zealand.
Kamp, P. J. J., Vonk, A. J., Bland, K. J., Griffin, A. G., Hayton, S., Hendy, A. J.W., ... Naish, T. (2002). Megasequence architecture of Taranaki, Wanganui, and King Country basins and Neogene progradation of two continental margin wedges across western New Zealand. In Proceedings of New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2002, 24 – 27 February, Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development, Wellington.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3619
Taranaki, Wanganui and King Country basins (formerly North Wanganui Basin) have been regarded as discrete basins, but they contain a very similar Neogene sedimentary succession and much of their geological history is held in common. Analysis of the stratigraphic architecture of the fill of each basin reveals the occurrence of four 2nd order megasequences of tectonic origin. The oldest is the early-early Miocene (Otaian Stage) Mahoenui Group/megasequence, followed by the late-early Miocene (Altonian Stage) Mokau Group/megasequence (King Country Basin), both of which correspond to the lower part of the Manganui Formation in Taranaki Basin. The third is the middle to late Miocene Whangamomona Group/megasequence, and the fourth is the latest Miocene-Pleistocene Rangitikei Supergroup/megasequence, both represented in the three basins. Higher order sequences (4th, 5th, 6th), having a eustatic origin, are evident in the Whangamomona and Rangitikei megasequences, particularly those of 5th order with 41 ka periodicity. The distribution of the megasequences are shown in a series of cross-section panels built-up from well -to-well correlations, complemented by time-stratigraphic cross-sections. The base of each megasequence is marked by marine flooding and represents a discrete phase in basin development. For the first megasequence this corresponded to rapid subsidence of the King Country Basin in a compressional setting and basement overthrusting on the Taranaki Fault, with the rapid introduction of terrigenous sediment during transgression. The Mahoenui megasequence accumulated mostly at bathyal depths; no regressive deposits are evident, having been eroded during subsequent uplift. The second (Mokau) megasequence accumulated during reverse movement on the Ohura Fault, formation of the Tarata Thrust Zone, and onlap of the basement block between the Taranaki Fault and the Patea-Tongaporutu-Herangi High (PTH). The Whangamomona megasequence accumulated during extensive reflooding of King Country Basin, onlap of the PTH High and of basement in the Wanganui Basin. This is an assymetrical sequence with a thin transgressive part (Otunui Formation) and a thick regressive part (Mount Messenger to Matemateaonga Formations). It represents the northward progradation of a continental margin wedge with bottom-set, slope-set and top-set components through Wanganui and King Country basins, with minor progradation over the PTH High and into Taranaki Basin. The Rangitikei megasequence is marked by extensive flooding at its base (Tangahoe Mudstone) and reflects the pull-down of the main Wanganui Basin depocentre. This megasequence comprises a second progradational margin wedge, which migrated on two fronts, one northward through Wanganui Basin and into King Country Basin, and a second west of the PTH High, through the Toru Trough and into the Central and Northern Grabens of Taranaki Basin and on to the Western Platform as the Giant Foresets Formation, thereby building up the modern shelf and slope. Fifth and 6th order sequences are well expressed in the shelf deposits (top-sets) of the upper parts of the Whangamomona and Rangitikei megasequences. They typically have a distinctive sequence architecture comprising shellbed (TST), siltstone (HST) and sandstone (RST) beds. Manutahi-1, which was continuously cored, provides calibration of this sequence architecture to wireline log character, thereby enabling shelf deposits to be mapped widely in the subsurface via the wireline data for hydrocarbon exploration holes. Similar characterization of slope-sets and bottom-sets is work ongoing. The higher order (eustatic) sequences profoundly influenced the local reservoir architecture and seal properties of formations, whereas the megasequence progradation has been responsible for the regional hydrocarbon maturation and migration. Major late tilting, uplift and erosion affected all three basins and created a regional high along the eastern Margin of Taranaki Basin, thereby influencing the migration paths of hydrocarbons sourced deeper in the basin and allowing late charge of structural and possibly stratigraphic traps.
Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development
This article has been published in Proceedings of New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2002, 24 – 27 February. © 2002 Kamp, P. J. J., Vonk, A. J., Bland, K. J., Griffin, A. G., Hayton, S., Hendy, A. J.W., ... Naish, T.