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Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

The digital 1:500 000 tectonic units of Western Australia’ layer was compiled in 2017 using boundaries derived from the digital ‘1:500 000 State interpreted bedrock geology of Western Australia, 2016’ following the principles first used to compile the ‘1:500 000 tectonic units of Western Australia — preliminary version (2007)’. For the offshore component, the map uses data and divisions from Geoscience Australia’s ‘Australian Geological Provinces’ GIS dataset, with polygons adjusted to match seamlessly into the onshore tectonic elements.

The nomenclature and hierarchy for the tectonic units are based on the Geological Survey of Western Australia Explanatory Notes System. The highest level unit in the hierarchy is the State, which is subdivided at the next level into Archean to Paleoproterozoic cratons; Proterozoic orogens; Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic basins (or superbasins); and igneous supersuites. All units depicted on this map, with the exception of basins and some igneous supersuites, are at the third or lesser hierarchical level. Cratons are subdivided into superterranes, terranes and domains. Orogens are divided into provinces and orogenic forelands, and may also incorporate sedimentary basins; provinces are further subdivided into terranes/zones. Igneous supersuites are further divided into suites, and may also be constituents of cratons, orogens or large igneous provinces. Basins are divided into sub-basins and sub-basin elements, which include shelves, highs, terraces, arches, platforms, ridges, troughs, embayments and grabens, and are locally ranked and stacked according to age where units overlie each other.

Polygons on this map represent the present-day area of tectonic units, without inference on their original extent.

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