Central Australia: There’s a Jurassic World of Volcanoes There That Was Not Discovered Until Recently


University of Adelaide from Australia, and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland have sent an international team of subsurface explorers to find a mysterious Jurassic world of about 100 ancient volcanoes, which are buried deep in the Cooper-Eromanga Basins of central Australia.

The Cooper-Eromanga Basins are placed in the north-east corner of South Australia, and the south-west corner of Queensland. We are talking about the largest onshore oil and gas producing region of Australia. However, despite 60 years worth of petroleum exploration and production, people have not noticed the ancient Jurassic volcanic underground landscape.

The study was published in the journal called Gondwana Research. Researchers have used advanced subsurface imaging techniques, together with medical CT scanning in order to identify the plethora of volcanic craters and the lava flows. They have also looked into the deeper magma chambers, which fed them. The name of the volcanic region is Warnie Volcanic Province.

These volcanoes have developed in the Jurassic period, between 180 and 160 million years ago. Because of this, they have been buried beneath hundreds of meters of rocks.

How did it look then?

Right now we are seeing a dry landscape, but in the Jurassic times, as researchers say, it would have been a landscape with craters and cracks, which would have leaped hot ash and lava into the air. Networks of river channels and swamps made out of coal. would have surrounded the landscape.

The co-author of the study, whose name is Simon Holford, from the University of Adelaide’s Australian School of Petroleum, said that the majority of Earth’s volcanic activity takes place at the boundaries of the tectonic plates, or directly under the oceans. However, this Jurassic world developed in the interior of the continent of Australia.


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