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The Carpentaria Conductivity Anomaly of western Queensland is a major element in the electrical conductivity structure of the Australian continent. Investigation of it is significant both for its own sake, and as a case history in the general understanding of continental conductivity structure. Following Its earlier discovery by reconnaissance magnetometers arrays, detailed magnetotelluric observations were carried out in 1997 along a transect crossing the anomaly between Cloncurry and Julia Creek. The magnetotelluric results define a good conductor within the crust beneath the sediments of the Eromanga Basin. The conductor extends over a depth range of tens of kilometres. This structure, evidently shown also by aeromagnetic and gravity data, is interpreted as the eastern boundary of the Mt Isa Block at a plate suture, which was later covered by the sediments of the Eromanga Basin. Seismic tomographic results show a major gradient in seismic-wave speed in the region. It appears the potential-field, electromagnetic and seismic methods have detected different characteristicsof the same geologic structure, with complementary results. The electromagnetic results, new to this paper, define horizontal position well, and give evidence of highly conducting material from the crust to a depth of tens of kilometres. The seismic results extend the depth of the boundary into the upper mantle. The case history supports the hypothesis that the major conductivity anomalies of the geomagnetic deep-sounding method mark continental sutures of fundamental significance in recording the creation of continents.

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