Ainslie Baxter

PhD Student

Telephone: +61 8 8303 4305
Facsimile: +61 8 8303 4345

PhD Project:

Lithospheric Modelling: Viscoelastic/Flexural Modelling of the Late Cretaceous to Recent Barrow and Dampier Sub-Basins.

Commenced: 1997

Supervisor: Prof. Richard Hillis

Project support: Mobil Exploration & Producing Australia Pty Ltd

Scholarship support: Mobil Exploration & Producing Australia Pty Ltd

A high resolution Tertiary sequence stratigraphic data set for the Barrow and Dampier sub-Basins is being used as part of a study to numerically model the Late Cretaceous to Recent subsidence history of the sub-basins. The study entails forward modelling of the thick plate viscoelastic response of the basement to sedimentary load. The flexural modelling will help to constrain the mechanisms of Tertiary basement movement in the Barrow and Dampier Sub-Basins. In particular, objectives of the study are: to determine whether flexure can account, wholly or in part, for the observed pattern of basin development (especially the shifting centres of deposition in the Barrow-Dampier sub-Basins); to determine to what extent flexure contributes to the late Miocene to Recent aggradational pattern of sequence deposition in the sub-basins; and to investigate whether a viscoelastic model is applicable to the development of other Australian basins.

Work in the past year has focused on sensitivity testing of flexural modelling code, and data processing.