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The Surat Basin hosts significant coal and coal seam gas resources. New high-precision CA-TIMS U/Pb zircon ages from tuffs and Bayesian age stratigraphic models are combined with palynology from fine-grained sedimentary rocks and zircon trace elements to provide further chronostratigraphic and biostratigraphic constrains on the Walloon Coal Measures in the eastern margin of the Surat Basin and infer the palaeoenvironment and tectonic setting. The tuff ages range from 165.88 ± 0.11 Ma to 158.84 ± 0.05 Ma, with those from the stratigraphically lower Taroom Coal Measures ranging from 165.88 ± 0.11 to 163.05 ± 0.08 Ma and Juandah Coal Measures ranging from 159.91 ± 0.04 to 158.84 ± 0.05 Ma. This corroborates that the lower part of the Walloon Coal Measures is Callovian and the upper part is Oxfordian. The palynology results from mudstones show that all samples are dominated by microfossils of spore-pollen with conifers being the most abundant. Our samples fall withinPrice’s (1997) stratigraphic zonation of APJ4.2 and APJ4.3. Posterior ages for palynology samples were estimated through Bayesian age stratigraphic modelling using stratigraphic depths and U-Pb zircon ages. The palaeoenvironment in the eastern portion of the basin is inferred to be predominantly fluvial, with spores and pollen derived from fresh water or terrestrial plants. Higher concentrations of green algae in one sample suggest that at times the water was somewhat stagnant. The zircons were derived from predominantly intermediate magmas, as indicated by the generally low Ti, Ta, and Nb values. The tectonic environment that the zircons were derived from was most likely a continental subduction zone due to their high U/Yb, low Nb/Yb and relatively low Hf concentrations. These new data support previous conclusions of the Surat Basin palaeoenvironment, contribute to the ongoing discussion about the tectonic setting of the basin and add new regional age marker horizons.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.