Sedimentology of the Paleoproterozoic Kungarra Formation, Turee Creek Group, Western Australia: A conformable record of the transition from early to modern Earth

Martin J. Van Kranendonk, Rajat Mazumder, Kosei E. Yamaguchi, Koji Yamada, Minoru Ikehara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the first, detailed sedimentological analysis of the Paleoproterozoic Kungarra Formation, the lowermost of three formations comprising the Turee Creek Group in Western Australia, which was deposited across the rise in atmospheric oxygen (the Great Oxidation Event, or GOE) and the transition from early to modern Earth. The data show that the Kungarra Formation has a gradational, conformable lower contact with underlying banded iron-formation of the Hamersley Group and predominantly comprises an upward-shallowing succession from deepwater shales and siltstones, through rippled fine-grained sandstones and stromatolitic carbonates, to tidal flat deposits that immediately underlie coastal-fluvial deposits of the overlying Koolbye Formation. At the base of the Kungarra Formation is a gradual transition from alternating units of magnetic green shale and thin units of banded iron-formation that pass upsection to units of non-magnetic shale and ferruginous chert and grey chert, reflecting a gradual loss of iron from the world's oceans accompanying the rise of atmospheric oxygen. A falling stage system. s tract is recognised above this transition in the Hardey Syncline area, capped by stromatolitic carbonates and a period of exposure marked by an erosional unconformity and carbonate beachrock. Two glacio-eustatic cycles are recognised within the middle to upper parts of the Kungarra Formation, each of which is marked by the rapid onset of falling systems tracts and characterised by falling systems tracts during and following diamictite deposition.Stratigraphic data are used to infer a depobasin filled by a sediment wedge prograding from southeast to northwest, in contrast to previous models of a north-northeastward deepening foreland basin. The lack of seismites or internal unconformities within the formation precludes a foredeep setting. Rather, deposition is interpreted as having occurred within an intracratonic basin, with detritus sourced from erosion of uplifted bedrock to the southeast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-343
Number of pages30
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Glacio-marine succession
  • Paleoproterozoic
  • Sedimentology
  • Turee creek group
  • Western Australia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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