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Outcrop analysis and facies model of an Upper Permian tidally influenced fluvio-deltaic system: Northern Sydney Basin, SE Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 March 2019

Jake Breckenridge
School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
Angelos G. Maravelis
Laboratory of Sedimentology, Department of Geology, University of Patras, Rion 26504, Greece
Octavian Catuneanu
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, 1-26 Earth Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E3, Canada
Kevin Ruming
Geological Survey of New South Wales, Division of Resources and Energy, Department of Industry, Maitland, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Erin Holmes
Geological Survey of New South Wales, Division of Resources and Energy, Department of Industry, Maitland, New South Wales 2320, Australia
William J. Collins
The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), Department of Applied Geology, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
E-mail address:


An integrated study of sedimentological, sequence-stratigraphic and palaeodispersal analysis was applied to the Upper-Permian clastic sedimentary succession in the Northern Sydney Basin, Australia. The succession is subdivided into fifteen facies and three facies associations. The facies associations are further subdivided into eight sub-facies associations. The sedimentary evolution involves progradation from delta-front to delta-plain to fluvial depositional environments, with a significant increase in sediment grain size across the unconformable contact that separates the deltaic from the overlying fluvial system. In contrast to the delta front that is wave/storm- and/or river-influenced, the delta plain is significantly affected by tides, with the impact of tidal currents decreasing up-sequence in the delta plain. The general lack of wave-influenced sedimentary structures suggests low wave energy in the delta plain. The abrupt termination of the tidal impact in the fluvial realm relates to the steep topographic gradients and high sediment supply, which accompanied the uplift of the New England Orogen. The sequence-stratigraphic framework includes highstand (deltaic forest and topset) and lowstand (fluvial topset) systems tracts, separated by a subaerial unconformity. In contrast to most of the mud-rich modern counterparts, this is an example of a sand-rich tidally influenced deltaic system, developed adjacent to the source region. This investigation presents a depositional model for tidal successions in regions of tectonic uplift and confinement.

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Outcrop analysis and facies model of an Upper Permian tidally influenced fluvio-deltaic system: Northern Sydney Basin, SE Australia
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