Sunday, 14 July 2013

Are our volcanoes extinct?

Firstly, I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front for a couple of weeks. There has been a lot going on personally which has meant very little time for research or blog posts. I usually have a few scheduled posts up my sleeve for those times when I simply don't have the time... but as a measure of how busy I've been, even these have run out.

Having said all that, I must point out another interesting post by New England self-government advocate Jim Belshaw. It is interesting because it takes us back over a hundred years and shows us that we can sometimes have a little laugh about silly geological ideas from back then. But, it is important to know that miss-understandings of geology continue to this day, including a belief by some that Mount Warning (for example) might erupt again or that we are due for a magnitude 7.0 earthquake etc.


  1. High Rod I've enjoyed reading your posts and they are very good indeed. I myself have a full degree in Australian geology and a couple other areas but im not here to talk about myself. I am here to talk about the post above, are our volcanoes extinct and the answer is no our volcanoes are not extinct. most of them are but no not all of them we have about fourteen active volcanoes ten of them are under water volcanoes in bass strait and are currently active seamounts which four of them will some time in the next fifty to sixty years break through the ocean surface to build new islands.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Yes, you are quite right. Australia does have active volcanoes in its territory. I think that even the volcano on Heard island erupted only a couple of years ago with lava flows identified by thermal anomalies in satellite observations.

      Additionally, the Newer Volcanic field in Victoria is the most recent volcanism on the mainland (with eruptions even occurring during aboriginal settlement), and as you mentioned in Bass straight the hotspot that created the Newer Volcanics is active.

      For the question "are our volcanoes extinct?", that really refers to the subject area of the blog, that is the Northern Rivers and New England area of NSW. The most recent volcanism in this region is about 16 Million years (the Comboyne volcanics). So the answer to that question is yes, they are extinct in this region.

      Thanks for your comment. I'd love to watch some underwater volcanoes breaking through Bass straight.