About the geology of the NT

The Northern Territory (NT) occupies about 13% of the Australian continent and is divided into discrete geological provinces.

A brief overview of the geology of each province summarises information on age, lithologies, regional geological relationships and economic potential.

A comprehensive description of the geology of the NT is available in the Geology and Mineral Resources of the Northern Territory publication.  The complete book and individual chapters can be downloaded from the product catalogue.

Geology of the NT

The dominant tectonic element of the NT is the Palaeoproterozoic North Australian Craton, which extends across much of northern Australia.

Localised Neoarchaean inliers within the craton indicate the likely presence of widespread Archaean basement.

Orogenic domains within the NAC are overlaid by widespread and locally thick Palaeo–Mesoproterozoic sedimentary basins.

The NAC passes south into late Palaeoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic terranes of the Warumpi and Musgrave provinces.

Neoproterozoic to Palaeozoic sedimentary basins cover large areas of the NT, forming shallow platform cover in the north, and thicker and more deformed sedimentary successions in the south.

Large areas of the Territory are also covered by a veneer of Mesozoic and/or Cenozoic sedimentary basins and surficial cover.

Last updated: 27 June 2017