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ItemThe geology and hydrogeology of the Corangamite regionThompson, Bruce R. ( 1971)Tectonic activity after the early Cretaceous resulted in a complete change in the depositional environment in the sedimentary basin - the Otway Basin - located to the south of the Western Highlands of Victoria and to the west of Melbourne. ThiS Basin became subject to increasing marine influences and the sediments deposited include thick sequences of Miocene marls: the Gellibrand Marl. The water in the marls and in the underlying sands of the Dilwyn Formation is saline near Lake Corangamite but elsewhere water of good quality is found in the sand aquifers, indicating that tectonic activity has caused the local isolation of the lower formation from the effects of flushing by fresher groundwater. Continued tectonic activity and associated volcanic activity during the Miocene and Lower Pliocene resulted firstly in the regression of the sea then the development of the internal drainage characteristic of the Corangamite Region. The sea probably retreated to the southeast as indicated by the unusual parallel physiographic features which have influenced the flows of 'earlier' Newer Volcanic lavas in the Curdie River area and the subsequent development of this river's drainage system. These features are probably related to remanent coast strandlines. The quality of the groundwater found in the 'earlier' lavas is generally poor but the basalts and tuffs of the 'later' Newer Volcanic age often contain water of low salinity, particularly in the intake areas which are located in the ‘stony rises' or near the volcanic cones. The intake area water of the Mt. Warrion basalts is a low salinity calcium-magnesium-bicarbonate water, having an unusually high nitrate content. As the salinity of the water increases away from the intake area the chemical nature of the water approaches that of a dilute sea water. This has been interpreted as being the result of a release of 'oceanic' connate salts by weathering of the calcareous material found in the tuffs and scoria beds of the volcanic cones. The material has been derived from the underlying marl sequence and has been incorporated into the igneous rocks during eruption. The high nitrate concentration has been attributed to the effects of pollution, since there is some evidence that the nitrate values have increased over the last sixty years, but there is also probably an increased rate of fixation in the intake area due to the effects of cultivation. The high bicarbonate values are probably due to a high rate of absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the intake areas. The hydraulic characteristic of the basalts ensures the rapid distribution at the high nitrate and bicarbonate waters of the intake area over large areas, hence the effects of pollution are more readily noticeable. The groundwater regime plays an important role in the transfer of dissolved salts in the mainly saline water domain of the Corangamite Region. The study of the water and salt content of some of the lakes of the area indicates that a balance exists that results in the maintenance of a specific lake salinity within narrow limits, and in which the groundwater regime is often involved. By considering the salt balance and water balance of a system as one parameter, referred to as the Hydro Salinity Factor, a simple mathematical model can be postulated to determine some of the unknown factors involved in the maintenance of an equilibrium salinity in a lake. The drilling programme and groundwater investigation outlined an important water resource located in the Warrion area. Already 40 bores have been drilled in this area and they produce 6.6 x 105m3 /year (800 acre feet/year). There is an annual underflow of about 1.5 x 107 m3 (12,000 acre feet). This quantity is well within the 'safe yield' of the area and further development should be encouraged, but because of the presence of the large number of saline lakes in the area, saline water intrusion into the basalts would rapidly occur if the groundwater levels are lowered beneath the lake levels.
ItemLate Cainozoic climatic and eustatic record from the Loxton-Parilla Sands, Murray Basin, Southeastern AustraliaKotsonis, Andrew ( 1995)A series of ancient shoreline ridges in the western Murray Basin of southeastern Australia preserve a detailed legacy of Pliocene marine retreat. The 157 subdued NNW trending coastal ridges of the Loxton-Parilla Sands, mapped using conventional techniques and night-time thermal imagery from the NOAA and the ERS-l satellites, extend in a parallel series from 400 km inland to the present coastline, and provide a virtual contour plan of the Pliocene landscape. Coastal ridges of the Loxton-Parilla Sands range in age from 6:6 Ma in the east, to 3.5 Ma towards the west, where they are tectonically deformed by the uplift of the Pinnaroo Block. The deposition of the Loxton-Parilla Sands at 6.6 Ma is correlated with high global sea levels, with the distribution of the sands suggesting deposition at a topographic level comparable to an ice-free earth (i.e. complete deglaciation of the polar regions). Coastal ridges consist of beach-barrier and near-shore sediments deposited in conditions of fluctuating sea levels. The absence of aeolian sediments within the ridges implies a significantly weaker wind-wave regime and/or permanent vegetation cover existed throughout the Pliocene. Eustatic oscillations recognized within the shoreline sequence correlate well with glacio-eustatic changes modulated by the axial precession of the earth with a periodicity near 20, 000 years. Following retreat of the sea, the Loxton-Parilla Sands were subject to deep weathering, with the resultant profile termed the Karoonda Regolith. Following cessation of coastal deposition the Karoonda Regolith developed diachronously, with the oldest pedogenic exposures in the east to the youngest towards the west. Ferric and silicic weathering profiles developed in late Miocene to Plio-Pleistocene times. Pedogenic silcretes formed by downward movement of acidic soil waters with saturation and deposition at the soilwater-groundwater interface under alternating wet and dry conditions. High water tables probably ensured accumulation of silica in the near surface environment. By the Mid Pliocene (3.5 Ma) weathering changed from predominantly silica to iron mobilization with development of ferricrete profiles. Late Pleistocene (0.7-0.4 Ma) ferricrete development ceased when arid climates developed as represented by calcareous soils across the basin. Addition of calcareous parna on the Karoonda Regolith buffered soil water pHs, and switched off ferricrete development. Extensive opaline silica dissolution under alkaline conditions resulted in the development of karstic-type solution pipes that were infilled with pisoliths and clasts of sandstone. Lowered groundwater tables probably contributed to the removal of silica from the near-surface permitting transfer to deep aquifers within the Loxton-Parilla Sands. The change from ferricrete to calcrete formation marks the onset of arid climates in Australia. Correlatives can be drawn between this continental record of sea level changes with those of the deep sea oxygen isotope curves which reflect Milankovitch-type changes in the ice budget of the world.
ItemGeology of the Wood's Point dyke swarmGreen, A. H. ( 1974)The wood’s Point dyke swarm, Victoria, consists of a set of abundant subparallel narrow dykes with occasional elliptical expansions (“bulges”) intruded into strongly folded Lower Palaeozoic sediments. The swarm represents a hisly differentiated calc-alkaline rock series derived by fractional crystallization of a single parent magma, possibly of periodotitic composition. The rock types present include both high and low Cr-Ni periodotites, pyroxenite, hornblendite, hornblende diorite and monzonite, biotite leucodiorite, and minor residual granophyre. Apart from this hornblende-bearing rock series, a few hornblende-free basaltic dykes of related chemical composition but intruded later, are petrographically and mineralogically distinct, displaying tholeiitic tendencies. The latter dykes appear to be genetically related to volcanics underlying the Upper Devonian Acheron and Cerberean cauldron subsidences. Fractional crystallization, flowage differentiation, crystal accumulation and chilling were important factors in the development of the members of the dyke swarm, whilst assimilation in situ was not. The dykes are zonod, ultramafic types having more basic interiors (“cores”) whereas basic to intermediate composition bulges have more basic margins (“rims”). Magmalic copper-nickel sulphides rich in precious metals (Pt, Pd, Au) occur in dyke bulges of all compositions, especially close to margins where they accumulated by gravitational settling or were trapped by chilling. The sulphides have high Cu/Ni (and Co/Ni) ratios indicative of a highly evolved magma and, along with Au, Pd and Ir are fractionated between dykes of different silicate compositions. The base metal contents of silicates and sulphides vary sympathetically. The dykes have undergone pervasive hydrothermal alteration during which sulphides were largely recrystallised and Au was leached from some copper-nickel sulphides. A zonal arrangement of increasing intensity of alteration inwards was observed in one ultramefic dyke bulge. Later the dykes were deformed and the basic to intermediate composition dykes were fractured and veined, and major gold deposits formed. The veins have associated wall rock alteration which may be mineralogically subdivided into inner and out zones. Dyke bulges, ultramafic rocks, copper nickel sulphides and Au mineralization are all concentrated along two main lineations paralleling the fold axes of the sedimentary trough. The eastern and more important trend (at the centre of the trough) marks the eastern limit of the dyke swarm except at its northern end. These lineations may represent deep-seated fractures which controlled the later upward migration of Au-bearing hydrothermal solutions from depth. The source of the Au could have been various rock types present at depth, including copper-nickel sulphides and Lower Palaeozoic sediments.