This project utilises an ocean-bottom array (CANPASS) and a two2-phase land array (CWAS) to investigate the structure imparted to the Northwestern Shelf as a result of the opening of the Tethys Ocean. It is part of a larger project run by the Institute of Geology and Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGG-CAS).
The early Paleozoic to Cenozoic Canning Basin is the second-largest basin on the Australian continent. It was initiated by an intracratonic rift in Proterozoic crust, with subsequent tectonic events causing repeated reworking but never leading to continental breakup. Whereas the onshore Canning Basin remained relatively stable in the Mesozoic, its offshore counterpart was affected by the c. 180 Ma continental rifting and opening of the Neo-Tethys Ocean in a direction orthogonal to the onshore structural grains.
Imaging of the continental lithosphere in the Canning Basin therefore provides an opportunity to investigate the lithospheric imprints of past geological events and to infer dynamics associated with modern and ancient rifting systems.
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