Mesozoic igneous activity is principally concentrated in eastern Queensland within 2-300 km of the present-day coastline, and one key area is in SE Queensland (Maryborough to Brisbane). Compiled age data on igneous rocks in Queensland reinforce the lack of onshore Jurassic igneous activity until ~150 Ma when an apparent flare-up of igneous activity began and coincides with the onset of rifting and minor igneous activity related to the onset of break-up of Australia and Antarctica. Some of this late Jurassic magmatism is distinctive in being strongly hornblende-rich and different to larger-volume igneous rocks emplaced before (Late Triassic), and after (Early Cretaceous).
The aim of the project is to investigate further the characteristics and extent of hornblende-rich igneous rocks in SE QLD as a basis for interpreting the tectonic significance of this magmatism that precedes large-scale breakup of eastern Gondwana.
Research activities will include:
- literature reviews compiling data and examples of hornblende-rich igneous rocks in this transitional stage to continental-rifting
- petrographic examination and description of a suite of hornblende-rich igneous rocks that may include some electron microprobe analysis
- depending on time and weather conditions, some supervised field study to examine other occurrences of hornblende-rich igneous rocks identified from the literature review.
Project outcomes will include:
- an improved understanding on Late Jurassic magmatism in SE Queensland and the potential significance of low-volume but hornblende-rich igneous activity as preludes to larger-scale continental break-up
- developing critical review skills of literature
- improving petrographic skills and undertaking some petrological analysis/modelling.
Skills and experience
You will ideally be interested in igneous rocks, and have completed ERB206 Petrology, and/or are undertaking the Earth Science major and Geology minor.
You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.
Contact the supervisor for more information.