The Canning Basin is a largely unexposed and underexplored frontier basin, formed mostly in the Paleozoic. Geological knowledge of this basin is based predominantly on sparse regional “vintage” two-dimensional seismic and small three-dimensional (3-D) seismic surveys and less than 230 exploration wells. Following seismic interpretation, an integrated interpretation was completed on airborne gravity gradiometer (AGG), magnetic, seismic, well, and complementary data along the southwestern margin of the Fitzroy trough and Gregory subbasin. Seismic data were reinterpreted using AGG data to produce a better constrained geological model. A basement structure map, two intrasedimentary structure maps, and a formation distribution map were produced. The interpretation of seismic profiles, validated through 2.5-dimensional gravity gradiometer modeling, is essential to this workflow.
Repeatedly reactivated west–northwest and northwest structural trends, inherited from Proterozoic orogenies, respectively delineate the Fitzroy trough and the Gregory subbasin with its northwestern structural extension into the Fitzroy trough, the Gregory subbasin trend. Subsidence occurred during two periods of extension. An asymmetric extensional system of the Fitzroy trough controlled Ordovician–Silurian deposition of the Carribuddy Group. Devonian–Carboniferous subsidence defines the Gregory subbasin trend. This Pillara extension reactivated structures in the east of the Fitzroy trough. Simultaneous activity of both extensional fault systems and growth faulting controlled the facies and thickness distribution of carbonates and clastics of the early Carboniferous Fairfield Group. The Meda and Fitzroy transpressional phases inverted faults of the Gregory subbasin trend and Fitzroy trough, producing prospects by structural interference.
The improved understanding of tectono-stratigraphic relationships, including the 3-D distribution of carbonate reservoirs, benefited the planning of seismic surveys, prospect evaluation, drilling, and acreage relinquishment.