Palaeostress, Thrusts And Oil Prospectivity in the Papua New Guinea Orogen

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
Thrusting is well documented in the Finisterre/Sarawaget moun- tains, the Kainantu-Waf district and in the Highlands between the Kubor Anticline and the Ramu Valley, Papua New Guinea. The thrusts trend NW and involve rocks ranging in age from Permo-Triassic to Plio-Pleistocene. Evidence from the Finisterre/ Sarawaget mountains demonstrates that a major phase of thrust- ing commenced in Pliocene times and continues today. Palaeostress analyses is a sensitive technique for assessing the kinematic history of faulting. The picture gained from the Finisterre/Sarawaget mountains, the Kainantu district and be- tween Kundiawa and Keglsugl is simple, involving a north to northeast ol. Local complexities between the upper Chimbu Valley and Brahmin indicate extension on a NW-N trend. The simplicity of this anlaysis, which accords with seismic and geo- detic strain data, shows that the major faulting in Papuan Orogen is no different from that in the Papuan Fold Belt; that the Papuan Orogen and the Papuan Fold Belt together form a young thrust- fold complex; and that such structures as the Kubor Anticline may be fault-bend folds. Recognition of the obduction of the Finisterre/Sarawaget reef/ volcanic complex over the Australian plate, the gas seeps in the Ramu Valley and foothills of the Finisterre/Sarawaget Mountains, oil seeps in the Goroka and Kundiawa regions, and our interpre- tation of the PNG Orogen as part of the Papuan Fold Belt indi- cates unexpected probability that the PNG Highlands are pro- spective for hydrocarbons.
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