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Ancient volcano cluster found near Sydney

Posted on Tuesday, 14 July, 2015 | Comment icon 6 comments

The volcanoes are located off the coast of Sydney, Australia. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Jacques Griebmayer
Four extinct volcanoes dating back 50 million years have been found on the ocean floor in Australia.
Discovered entirely by accident during a search for fish and lobster breeding grounds, the volcano cluster is located 250km off the coast of Sydney and has been hailed as a major find by scientists.

"There on the screen were these four incredible volcanoes looking like something off the front cover of a geology textbook... if you could drain the ocean it would be magnificent to see for a few seconds, it's a remarkable structure," said Professor Iain Suthers.

Measuring 20km long and 6km wide, the volcanoes are located around 5km below the surface and were thought to have formed when the surrounding land collapsed to form a crater.

"They tell us part of the story of how New Zealand and Australia separated around 40-80 million years ago," said Professor Richard Arculus of the Australian National University. "They'll now help scientists target future exploration of the sea floor to unlock the secrets of the Earth's crust."

The largest of the volcanoes is 1.5km across and measures a whopping 700m in height.

Source: | Comments (6)

Tags: Sydney, Volcanoes

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by MordorOrc on 14 July, 2015, 6:52
I thought the islands off the Australian coast were parts of the continent that flooded with the massive increase in sea levels at the end of the ice age?
Comment icon #2 Posted by back to earth on 14 July, 2015, 6:58
You cant have known that as these volcanoes were only 'discovered' a few days ago
Comment icon #3 Posted by back to earth on 14 July, 2015, 7:01
As the continent moved northward it went over a hot spot that made the (now) Glass House Mountains in Queensland , others south, including Mt Warning in NSW and even the remains of one up the back of the valley I live in . Their remains are all over the coast and the eastern sea floor. Its been known about for a looooooong time !
Comment icon #4 Posted by BeastieRunner on 14 July, 2015, 19:33
Couple this with the recent Seattle and NY Times Seattle Super Quake and all the doomsayers are having a field day today!
Comment icon #5 Posted by robinrenee on 15 July, 2015, 8:03
Why all the fuss about volcanoes discovered off the coast of Sydney ??? When google maps has been showing it for ages ? and there is a chain of them all the way up the coast ... and where did they think Lord Howe Island 'appeared' from ? Yep, right there they are on google maps. Thanks.... It looks like a hot spot in the Indo-Australian plate... like the Hawaiian one in the Pacific plate.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Rofflaren on 20 July, 2015, 1:02
So did they find any lobsters??

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