Chapter 9 Taranaki Basin, New Zealand
The Taranaki basin is a Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary basin located along the western side of the North Island, New Zealand. Initiated during the Cretaceous, the Taranaki basin lies at the southem end of a rift that developed subparallel to the Tasman Sea rift, which now separates Australia and New Zealand.
Structure of the basin has been controlled by movement along the Taranaki and Cape Egmont fault zones. Subsidence commenced in the Cretaceous and continued until the Pliocene. The predominant tectonic regime in the Taranaki basin changed from one of extension to one of compression in the early Miocene. Late Tertiary tectonics formed three primary structural types: faulted anticlines, high-angle overthrust structures, and tilted fault blocks. Kapuni and Maui gas-condensate fields are faulted anticlines; the McKee (oil) and the Ahuroa and Tariki (gas-condensate) fields are overthrust structures.
Sandstones within the Eocene Kapuni Group and the Oligocene Otaraoa Formation are the only producing reservoirs. The gas- condensate and oil are sourced from nonmarine to paralic coals and carbonaceous shales of the Late Cretaceous-Eocene Pakawau and Kapuni groups. The overlying marine sequences are organically lean and have negligible source potential.
A large proportion of the sedimentary succession was deposited during the late Tertiary. Consequently, the geothermal gradient in the Taranaki basin is moderately low «3°C/100 m). Maturation studies show that only those source rocks buried between 4000 and 4950 m are in the present oil generation and gas expulsion window.
Figures & Tables
Active Margin Basins
“The most distinctive characteristic of the Los Angeles basin“The most distinctive characteristic of the Los Angeles basin is its structural relief and complexity in relation to its age and size” (Yerkes et aI., 1965, p. AI6); however, its very complexity caused no small amount of discussion in designing and naming this volume of the AAPG World Petroleum Basin Memoirs. (See the Foreword for a discussion of the scope of these memoirs.) The series coordinators decided early that the Los Angeles basin should be included in the World Petroleum Basins project because of its interesting geology and importance as a hydrocarbon producer. Initially, the Los Angeles basin was considered for a convergent-margin volume, presumably in recognition of the late-stage shortening that has taken place in the Los Angeles region of southern California. There is little doubt, however, that the Los Angeles basin has formed and deformed within the evolving San Andreas transform system (Atwater, 1970, 1989; Campbell and Yerkes, 1976; Blake et al., 1978; Engebretson et al., 1985; Wright, this volume). There is also little doubt among those who have worked in the area that the initial subsidence of the Neogene Los Angeles basin was caused by extension (Yeats, 1968; Crowell, 1974, 1976, 1987; Wright, this volume). The series coordinators decided, therefore, that to portray the Los Angeles basin as a model for basins formed in convergent-margin settings would be misleading.
The title of this volume, Active Margin Basins, is a compromise, but, like many compromises, this title falls short of completely describing its subject