Alan Stephen Collins

Alan Stephen Collins
University of Adelaide · Department of Earth Sciences

PhD

About

337
Publications
159,820
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
15,845
Citations
Introduction
Hi everyone, I'm a tectonic geologist who researches into how the deep earth controls and interacts with earth surface processes. I use many techniques including geochronological and geochemical applications of LA-ICP-MS(/MS) technology. I'm keen on the Proterozoic, sedimentary geochemistry, full plate tectonic reconstructions and the tectonic geography of region or the world
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - April 2019
University of Adelaide
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2005 - present
University of Adelaide
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 2005 - June 2017
University of Adelaide
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
August 1993 - February 1997
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Geology
September 1990 - June 1993
Imperial College London
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (337)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The McArthur Basin of the North Australian Craton is one of the very few places on Earth where extensive hydrocarbons are preserved that were generated from Mesoproterozoic source rocks, prior to the development of extensive multicellular life. It is, however, unclear precisely when hydrocarbons from these source rocks matured, and if this...
Preprint
The ca. 1.5–1.3 Ga Roper Group of the greater McArthur Basin is a component of one of the most extensive Precambrian hydrocarbon-bearing basins preserved in the geological record, recently assessed as containing 429 million barrels of oil and eight trillion cubic feet of gas (in place). It was deposited in an intra-cratonic sea, referred to here as...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The late Neoproterozoic poly-metamorphic basement of the Menderes Massif can be divided into two units (Bozdeğ Unit and Birgi Unit) with distinct metamorphic and magmatic histories. Birgi Unit consists of high-grade paragneiss - schist intercalation and (meta) acidic – basic intrusions. Granulite facies metamorphism has been preserved only in a few...
Article
Accurate spatial models of tectonic plates and geological terranes are important for analyzing and interpreting a wide variety of geoscientific data and developing compositional and physical models of the lithosphere. We present a global compilation of active plate boundaries and geological provinces in a shapefile format with interpretive attribut...
Preprint
Full-text available
Accurate spatial models of tectonic plates and geological terranes are important for analyzing and interpreting a wide variety of geoscientific data and developing compositional and physical models of the lithosphere. We present a global compilation of active plate boundaries and geological provinces in a shapefile format with interpretive attribut...
Article
Full-text available
Continental rifts have a significant role in supercontinent breakup and the development of sedimentary basins. The Australian Adelaide Superbasin is one of the largest and best-preserved rift systems that initiated during the breakup of Rodinia, yet substantial challenges still hinder our understanding of its early evolution and place within the Ro...
Preprint
Full-text available
The glaciogenic nature of the Yudnamutana Subgroup was first recognised over a century ago, and their global significance was recognised shortly after, eventually culminating with the pan global Sturtian glaciation and Snowball Earth theory. Much debate on the origin and timing of these rocks, locally and globally, has ensued in the years since. A...
Preprint
Full-text available
The late Tonian sequences of the Adelaide Superbasin were witness to the birth of the proto-Pacific Ocean during the breakup of Rodinia. Understanding the sedimentology and provenance of these rocks from across the basin is key to understanding both their deposition over ~70 million years, the local palaeogeography, and leads to a better understand...
Preprint
Continental rifts have a significant role in supercontinent breakup, and the development of sedimentary basins. The Australian Adelaide Superbasin is one of the largest and best-preserved rift systems that initiated during the breakup of Rodinia, yet substantial challenges still hinder our understanding of its early evolution and place within the R...
Article
Full-text available
The Coorong Lagoon is a unique hydrological and depositional system at the terminus of the Murray–Darling Basin, the largest river system in Australia. It exhibits large salinity, nutrient, and organic matter gradients, providing a modern analogue to study and validate the use of δ ¹⁵ N and δ ¹³ C as tracers of past and contemporary geochemical cyc...
Article
Full-text available
The ca. 1.5-1.3 Ga Roper Group of the greater McArthur Basin is a component of one of the most extensive Precambrian hydrocarbon-bearing basins preserved in the geological record, recently assessed as of 429 MMB (68 MMcm) of oil and between 8 and 118 TCF (222.56 Bcm) of gas (in place). It was deposited in an intra-cratonic sea, referred to here as...
Article
Full-text available
The Salt Range Formation is an extensive evaporite sequence in northern Pakistan that has acted as the primary detachment accommodating Himalayan orogenic deformation from the north. This rheologically weak formation forms a mylonite in the Khewra Mine, where it accommodates approximately 40 km displacement and is comprised of intercalated halite a...
Article
The Tonian–Cryogenian transition (ca. 720 Ma) represents a period of significant environmental change in Earth history, involving variations in oceanic and atmospheric oxygenation, significant changes in the biosphere, tectonic reorganisation, and the onset of the global ‘Sturtian’ glaciation. South Australia has some of the thickest, continuous an...
Article
Constraining the tectonic history and timing of major shear zone structures in the Arabian Shield is critical for better understanding of the origin, tectonic history and distribution of ore deposits within this Precambrian crystalline crustal block. Here, we used a novel in-situ Rb-Sr dating of micas and K-feldspar to constrain the age of the Umm...
Article
Large igneous provinces (LIPs) are often used as a powerful tool for constraining continental reconstructions, due to their potential to correlate radiometric emplacement ages across scattered fragments of once continuous igneous bodies, and establish the presence of coeval magmatic suites. Mesoproterozoic magmatism in northern Australia and north...
Article
Full-text available
Authigenic components in marine sediments are important archives for past environment reconstructions. However, defining reliable age constraints and assessing the effects of post-depositional overprints in Precambrian sequences are challenging. We demonstrate a new laser-based analytical approach that has the potential to rapidly and accurately ev...
Book
This richly illustrated book reviews the geology, tectonics and mineralization of the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS) in 27 chapters. It starts with an examination of the ANS lithospheric scale features, explores Mesoproterozoic units and deals with the ANS oceanic stage. Arc volcanism and plutonism, post-collision basins and volcanics are discussed, a...
Article
The Saharan Metacraton is a poorly known tract of pre-Neoproterozoic continental crust that occupies the area between the juvenile Arabian Nubian Shield, in the east, and the Tuareg Shield to the west. Neoproterozoic orogenesis (i.e. Oubanguides and East African orogenies) affect the west, the south and the east of the metacraton, respectively, whi...
Chapter
The limited shortening and crustal thickening in the Arabian–Nubian Shield (ANS) during central Gondwana amalgamation have preserved the pre-continental collision accretionary orogen in a manner that allows us to reconstruct past plate tectonic kinematics. We interpret this to show remarkable changes in plate tectonic motions at ca. 720 Ma that ref...
Article
Full-text available
The geological time scale before 720 Ma uses rounded absolute ages rather than specific events recorded in rocks to subdivide time. This has led increasingly to mismatches between subdivisions and the features for which they were named. Here we review the formal processes that led to the current time scale, outline rock-based concepts that could be...
Article
The Tian Shan mountain range maintains high topography across the Eurasian continent despite being distal to any modern plate boundary. Previous studies of the Tian Shan have revealed a history of mountain building in response to India-Asia collision which has overprinted much of its Mesozoic history. The Karatau and Talas ranges in the north-weste...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Salt Range Formation is an extensive evaporite formation in northern Pakistan that has acted as the primary detachment accommodating Himalayan orogenic deformation from the north. This rheologically weak formation forms a mylonite in the Khewra mines, where it accommodates approximate 40 km displacement and is comprised of intercalated halite a...
Article
Full-text available
Central Asia hosts the Tianshan, the largest intracontinental mountain belt in the world, which experienced major reactivation and uplift since the Oligocene in response to the collision of India with Asia. This reactivation was focused around pre-existing structures inherited from the Paleozoic tectonic history of the region. The significant Cenoz...
Article
Full-text available
Plate reorganization events involve fundamental changes in lithospheric plate-motions and can influence the lithosphere-mantle system as well as both ocean and atmospheric circulation through bathymetric and topographic changes. Here, we compile published data to interpret the geological record of the Neoproterozoic Arabian-Nubian Shield and integr...
Article
Central and southern Madagascar comprise a number of distinctive Archaean crustal blocks (the Antongil-Masora and Antananarivo domains) overlain by Proterozoic supracrustal sequences, preserved in the East African Orogen. Here, we present U–Pb and Lu–Hf isotopic data for two supracrustal units from detrital and metamorphic zircon grains. The lower...
Article
Full-text available
The Ediacaran–Cambrian transition was a time of profound reorganisation of the biosphere, coinciding with the assembly of Gondwana and increasing atmospheric and oceanic oxygenation. The lower Cambrian marine sediments of the Stansbury Basin, South Australia, were deposited at low northern paleolatitudes on the western margin of the emerging Pacifi...
Article
Full-text available
Madagascar hosts several Paleoproterozoic sedimentary sequences that are key to unraveling the geodynamic evolution of past supercontinents on Earth. New detrital zircon U–Pb and Hf data, and a substantial new database of ∼15,000 analyses are used here to compare and contrast sedimentary sequences in Madagascar, Africa, and India. The Itremo Group...
Data
This dataset is the first coupled zircon U-Pb and Hf analysis from Ordovician to Triassic sediments of the Sibumasu Terrane in northwest Thailand. This dataset includes sample imagery, a cumulative kernel density estimate used to determine a consistent age cut off for the U-Pb isotopic systems of all eight samples and the relevant analytical data t...
Presentation
Here we present from a novel application of in-situ Rb‒Sr dating and elemental analyses using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS/MS) on a set of sedimentary rocks across the Precambrian under different geological settings. A reaction gas is introduced between two quadropoles in the system, allowing for the online...
Article
The evolution of the Sibumasu Terrane forms a principal component in the history of the Tethys Oceans with the northward movement of Gondwana-derived terranes creating the Asian continent that we recognise today. While there are various reconstructions for the palaeoposition of the Sibumasu Terrane during the Proterozoic and Paleozoic, the terrane...
Article
The c. 1.5–1.3 Ga Wilton package, the upper succession of the greater McArthur Basin, preserves detailed tectono-sedimentary evidence for the Mesoproterozoic evolution of the North Australian Craton (NAC). In addition, it is a valuable global sedimentary repository for the poorly explored Mesoproterozoic. New detrital zircon U–Pb age and Lu–Hf isot...
Conference Paper
The secular record of zircon geochemistry is particularly well documented, and among a variety of global datasets that include tens of thousands of zircons, zircons with U–Pb ages that span from roughly 600 to 550 Ma, and which are centred on ca. 580 Ma, form a group of distinctive composition. This group has been most extensively documented in det...
Article
Recent progress in plate tectonic reconstructions has seen models move beyond the classical idea of continental drift by attempting to reconstruct the full evolving configuration of tectonic plates and plate boundaries. A particular problem for the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian is that many existing interpretations of geological and palaeomagnetic da...
Poster
Full-text available
The Rb–Sr isotopic system has previously been used to date the deposition of shales as well as crystallisation of igneous rocks. Traditionally, the daughter and parent isotopes from beta decay system chronometers such as 87Rb–87Sr could not be differentiated through conventional mass spectrometry. Instead, the method commonly involves an arduous pr...
Article
The Adelaide Rift Complex in South Australia records the break-up of Rodinia at a time of great climatic and biological evolution. The Boucaut Volcanics within the Neoproterozoic Adelaide Rift Complex of the Adelaide Superbasin lie at the base of the Burra Group, marking the boundary between the Burra Group and underlying Callanna Group. Despite th...
Article
The Precambrian Pine Creek Orogen and Arnhem Province represent two of the oldest basement terrains in northern Australia and are often considered to be devoid of significant regional deformation since the cessation of regional metamorphism in the Paleoproterozoic. A major caveat in the current hypothesis of long lived structural inactivity is the...
Article
Laser-ablation inductively-coupled plasma tandem mass-spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS/MS) allows for rapid and interference free analyses of Rb and Sr isotopes, permitting in-situ Rb–Sr dating of minerals. However, the general lack of matrix matched reference materials remains one of its main obstacles, affecting both precision and accuracy. This study sys...
Presentation
Sedimentary rocks make up only 5% of the earth’s crust and yet record the history of the planet’s hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. It is critical to be able to accurately date the time of deposition to read and interpret this record correctly—this is challenging in pre-Cambrian rocks where fossils are of very limited use. Here, we present res...
Preprint
The Adelaide Superbasin (Adelaide Rift Complex, Stuart Shelf, Torrens Hinge Zone, Coombalarnie Platform, and Cambrian Stansbury and Arrowie Basins) is a vast sedimentary basin in southern Australia that initiated due to the break-up of central Rodinia and, evolved into the Australian passive margin on edge of the Pacific Basin. Rocks within it cont...
Preprint
The Adelaide Rift Complex in South Australia records the break-up of Rodinia at a time of great climatic and biological evolution. The Boucaut Volcanics within the Neoproterozoic Adelaide Rift Complex lie at the base of the Burra Group, marking the boundary between the Burra Group and underlying Callanna Group. Despite their significance as one of...
Article
Full-text available
The Saur‐Chingiz Belt (SCB) in northern West Junggar is regarded as the amalgamation zone of the Saur and Chingiz arcs. It contains diagnostic rocks of accretionary origin, providing critical information about the evolution of the southern Paleo‐Asian Ocean. We recognize various lithologies in the SCB, including an ophiolitic mélange, turbidites, c...
Article
The Adelaide Superbasin (Adelaide Rift Complex, Stuart Shelf, Torrens Hinge Zone, Coombalarnie Platform, and Cambrian Stansbury and Arrowie Basins) is a vast sedimentary basin in southern Australia that initiated due to the break-up of central Rodinia and, evolved into the Australian passive margin on edge of the Pacific Basin. Rocks within it cont...
Article
Full-text available
The Mesoproterozoic Roper Group of the McArthur Basin has excellent petroleum potential, but its poorly constrained post-depositional history has hampered resource exploration and management. The Derim Derim Dolerite occupies an important position in the regional event chronology, having intruded the Roper Group prior to deformation associated with...
Presentation
The greater McArthur Basin is a regionally extensive Palaeo-to-Mesoproterozic, intra-cratonic, super basin system overlying the North Australian craton. Deposition initiated after the Pine Creek Orogeny whereby the basin extends from Western Australia to northwestern Queensland. Lithostratigraphic units are divided into five coherent packages of si...
Article
The Delamerian Orogen formed at the final stages of assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent. This system marks the initiation of subduction of the Pacific oceanic lithosphere along a prior rifted and extended passive margin. This paper explores the magmatic consequences following the early Cambrian initiation at the palaeo-Pacific margin in South A...
Poster
Full-text available
Four separate sub-themes presented for the AGES 2020 meeting in Alice Springs that was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Themes are: 1. Combined apatite U-Pb and whole-rock Rb-Sr geochronology of the Derim Derim dolerite 2. Reconstructing the Mesoproterozoic palaeogeography of northern Australia through detrital thermo- and geo-chronometer...
Article
Full-text available
Southern India lies in an area of Gondwana where multiple blocks are juxtaposed along Moho-penetrating structures, the significance of which are not well understood. Adequate geochronological data that can be used to differentiate the various blocks are also lacking. We present a newly acquired SIMS U–Pb, Lu–Hf, O isotopic and trace element geochem...
Article
Full-text available
The Beetaloo Sub‐basin, northern Australia, is considered the main depocentre of the 1000 km‐scale Mesoproterozoic Wilton package of the greater McArthur Basin—the host to one of the oldest hydrocarbon global resources. The ca. 1.40–1.31 Ga upper Roper Group and the latest Mesoproterozoic to early Neoproterozoic unnamed group of the Beetaloo Sub‐ba...
Article
The ca. 1730 Ma Wollogorang Formation is a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic unit in the southern McArthur Basin of northern Australia. It is an exploration target for base metals and may be a petroleum source unit and unconventional reservoir. Facies analysis indicates that the Wollogorang Formation records deposition in supratidal to offshore environ...
Article
Full-text available
The Tianshan and Altai mountain belts dominate the present‐day topography of central Asia and are major constituents of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. These mountain belts have been extensively studied using low‐temperature thermochronology to understand their uplift and exhumation history. In comparison, few studies have focused on the spatial e...
Article
The Lawn Hill Platform (LHP) is a sedimentary province in north-eastern Northern Territory and north-western Queensland that hosts a significant Paleoproterozoic–Mesoproterozoic sequence, often referred to as 'the ‘Isa Superbasin’, and includes the overlying South Nicholson Group. Shale gas resources and base-metals mineralisation are known in nort...
Conference Paper
The Tonian–Cryogenian transition represents a period of significant physiochemical change in Earth history. It involved variations in oceanic and atmospheric oxygenation, significant changes in the biosphere, tectonic reorganisation, and the onset of the global ‘Sturtian’ glaciation. Tonian and Cryogenian sedimentary rocks in the Adelaide Superbasi...
Conference Paper
The ca. 1730 Ma Wollogorang Formation is a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic unit in the southern McArthur Basin of northern Australia. It is an exploration target for base metals and may be a petroleum source unit and unconventional reservoir. Facies analysis indicates that the Wollogorang Formation records deposition in supratidal to offshore environ...
Article
The formation of major Palaeoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic (Cu)-Au deposits at the metal-rich margins of the Gawler Craton, South Australia, has received a lot of attention, however, the relationship between metal occurrences, the exhumation level of the crust and the structural architecture of the craton margins is less clear. Here, we present r...