Impact of igneous intrusion and associated ground deformation on the stratigraphic record

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Emilia Dobb, Craig Magee , Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson , Bailey Lathrop, Jonas Kopping


The geomorphology and sediment systems of volcanic areas can be influenced by uplift (forced folding) related to subsurface migration and accumulation of magma. Seismic geomorphological analysis presents a unique tool to study how surface morphology and subsurface magma dynamics relate, given seismic reflection data can image buried landscapes and underlying intrusions in 3D at resolutions of only a few metres-to-decametres. However, differential compaction of the sedimentary sequence above incompressible igneous intrusions during burial modifies palaeosurface morphology. Here we use 3D seismic reflection data from offshore NW Australia to explore how the stratigraphic record of igneous intrusion and associated ground deformation can be unravelled. We focus on a forced fold that formed in the Early Cretaceous to accommodate intrusion of magma, but which was later amplified by burial-related differential compaction of the host sedimentary sequence. We show how: (1) marine channels and clinoforms may be deflected by syn-depositional intrusion-induced forced folds; and (2) differential compaction can locally change clinoform depth post-deposition, potentially leading to erroneous interpretation of shoreline trajectories. Our results demonstrate seismic geomorphological analysis can help us better understand how magma emplacement translates into ground deformation, and how this shapes the landform of volcanic regions.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Sill, Magma


Published: 2021-07-09 02:33

Last Updated: 2021-07-09 09:33


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data Availability (Reason not available):
The seismic and well data are open access and can be found through Geoscience Australia (

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