The Basin covers approximately (506,000 km²) of which approximately (430,000 km²) is on land.
The basin is also a distinct physiographic province of the larger West Australian Shield division.
It has a number of sub basins - the Fitzroy Trough-Gregory Sub-basin complex, the Willara Sub-basin, and the Kidson Sub-basin complex.
The Canning Basin is home to a Devonian fossil reef complex that stretches 350 km across the northern edge of the basin. The fossil reef is very well preserved and is cut by several modern canyons, including Geikie Gorge and Windjana Gorge.
- Geoscience Australia - Geological summary
- John Veevers; Wells, A. T. (Allan Thomas); Australia. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics (1961), The geology of the Canning Basin, Western Australia, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, retrieved 21 January 2012
- Canning Basin Symposium (1984 : Perth, W.A.); Purcell, Peter G; Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia; Geological Society of Australia. Western Australian Branch (1984), The Canning Basin W.A, Geological Society of Australia Inc. and Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Ltd, ISBN 978-0-909869-37-3
- Raine, M. J. (1972) Bibliography of the Canning Basin, Western Australia. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics. Reports ; no. 155. ISBN 0-642-00080-8
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