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In situ stress distribution and mechanical stratigraphy in the Bowen and Surat basins, Queensland, Australia

Emma Tavener, Thomas Flottmann and Sam Brooke-Barnett
In situ stress distribution and mechanical stratigraphy in the Bowen and Surat basins, Queensland, Australia (in Geomechanics and geology, J. P. Turner (editor), D. Healy (editor), Richard R. Hillis (editor) and M. Welch (editor))
Special Publication - Geological Society of London (May 2017) 458 (1): 31-47


We present regional in situ stress analyses based on publicly available log and pressure data from coal seam gas developments in the Permian Bowen basin, Australia. Together with earlier data from the eastern part of the Jurassic Surat basin, our results show a broad, but systematic, rotation of S (sub Hmax) azimuths in this part of eastern Australia as well as systematic changes in stress state with depth. Overall, the geomechanical state of the region appears to reflect the interplay between basin-controlling structures and a complex far-field stress regime. At the reservoir level, within and between Permian coal seams, this stress complexity is reflected in highly variable stress states both vertically and laterally. Stress data, including direct pressure measurements and observations of borehole failure in image logs, have been used to calibrate sonic-derived one-dimensional wellbore stress models that consistently exhibit a change in tectonic stress regime with depth. Shallow depths (<600 m) are characterized by a reverse-thrust stress regime and deeper levels are characterized by a strike-slip regime. Changes in the stress state with depth influence the mechanical stratigraphy of rocks with widely contrasting mechanical attributes (coals and clastic sediments). Our results highlight the interdependency between regional tectonic, local structural and detailed rheological influences on the well scale geomechanical conditions that have to be taken into consideration in drilling and completion designs. Supplementary material: Database of additional wells with image log data are available at

ISSN: 0305-8719
Serial Title: Special Publication - Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 458
Serial Issue: 1
Title: In situ stress distribution and mechanical stratigraphy in the Bowen and Surat basins, Queensland, Australia
Title: Geomechanics and geology
Author(s): Tavener, EmmaFlottmann, ThomasBrooke-Barnett, Sam
Author(s): Turner, J. P.editor
Author(s): Healy, D.editor
Author(s): Hillis, Richard R.editor
Author(s): Welch, M.editor
Affiliation: Santos, Brisbane, Queensl., Australia
Pages: 31-47
Published: 20170524
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 43
Accession Number: 2017-082541
Categories: Structural geologyEngineering geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., 2 tables, sketch map
S27°00'00" - S24°00'00", E149°00'00" - E150°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Origin Energy, AUS, Australia
Source Note: Online First
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201743
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