Australia’s Newer Volcanics Province

Beautiful, but not a volcano. (Image: Alex Healing, CC BY 2.0)

This extensive but dormant volcanic field is on the opposite end of the continent from the only Australian geologic formation that most of the world recognizes: Uluru/Ayers Rock.

I don’t know where the name “Newer” comes from, but at an age of roughly 4.5 million years, this volcanic area on the southeastern coast is much younger than northwestern Australia’s Uluru/Ayers, which is hundreds of millions of years old and also made out of sandstone, not igneous rock.

So, here’s a brief look at Newer Volcanics (pay particular attention to the mention of Mount Eccles, a/k/a Budj Bim):

Mount Eccles/Budj Bim is the part of this province that recently made the news — not because it is about to erupt but because native people may have preserved the story of its last eruption for almost 40,000 years!

That may be the oldest story known.

People certainly have lived here that long, per this article.

The last eruption at Newer was about 5,000 years ago, so the field isn’t extinct. However, it doesn’t seem to be an imminent threat at present, either.

Unfortunately, I can’t do this justice today, since the book on small African cats is coming together this weekend. But here are a few links to get you started, if you want to check this out in more detail:

Featured image: Lake Surprise at Budj Bim, by cafuego, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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