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Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica
Lower and Middle Devonian of Queensland, Australia
The Lower and Middle Devonian of Queensland comprise mostly marine strata of an early regressive phase and marine to continental sediments of a later transgressive-regressive cycle deposited as cratonic platform cover, as rifted basin fill along the margin of the craton and as island arc, shelf, slope and basin accumulations. They represent the final stages of a major mid-Paleozoic tectono-stratigraphic cycle in eastern Australia. The episodic nature of its final diastrophism has produced abbreviated sequences in some areas and numerous disconformities and unconformities in others. The lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy of these sequences are outlined. Four tectono-stratigraphic settings are differentiated. Epicratonic platform cover is now represented by only small outcrops of relatively thin shallow marine and continental deposits in the northwest and north of the state. Similar rocks are known from scattered outcrops and from the subsurface over a wide area of the Thompson Fold Belt of central and southern Queensland, including the Adavale Basin which contains a thick sequence of marine clastics and carbonates overlain by nearshore evaporites, deltaic and onshore deposits. In northeastern Queensland thick sequences of carbonate-rich shallow marine shelf sediments occur along the rifted margins of the craton, as in the Graveyard Creek Basin of the Broken River Embayment. The Hodgkinson and Camel Creek Basins, which contain the eastern deposits of the Hodgkinson-Broken River Fold Belt, exhibit thick flyseh-like slope and basinal deposits which are now strongly deformed. Little volcanic-derived material is known from the northern sequences in contrast to the New England Fold Belt. Several fault blocks of Early to Middle Devonian calc-alkaline volcanics, volcaniclastic sediments, limestones and cherts in central and southern coastal Queensland are interpreted as remnants of an island arc that was probably separated from the continent by a marginal sea.
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