Scientists from the University of Adelaide and the University of Aberdeen have uncovered the cluster of volcanoes using advanced subsurface imaging technology designed to identify craters, lava and magma chambers. The Mail Online reports the volcanoes developed in the Jurassic period, which was around 180 to 60million years ago. But the field of volcanoes has been buried deep underground beneath hundreds of of metres of sedimentary rocks in the Cooper-Eromanga basins.
The basins now consist of dry and barren landscape but in the Jurassic period the area would have been spewing hot lava with lakes becoming coal swamps due to the sheer amount of the volcanoes.
Associate professor Simon Holford said: “While the majority of Earth’s volcanic activity occurs at the boundaries of tectonic plates, or under the Earth’s oceans, this ancient Jurassic world developed deep within the interior of the Australian continent.
“Its discovery raises the prospect that more undiscovered volcanic worlds reside beneath the poorly explored surface of Australia.”
The reserve suggests there could be more volcanic activity in Australia than previously believed.
The scientists published their findings in the journal Gondwana Research, which notes the volcanic wasteland is called the Warnie Volcanic Province, with a nod to Australian cricket legend Shane Warne.
Associate Professor Holford added: “We wrote much of the paper during a visit to Adelaide by the Aberdeen researchers, when a fair chunk was discussed and written at Adelaide Oval during an England vs Cricket Australia XI match in November 2017.
“Inspired by the cricket, we thought Warnie a good name for this once fiery region.”
Meanwhile, scientists in a much colder climate found another extinct volcano.
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In Russia, a volcano previously considered extinct has woken up and is “ready for eruption” an expert has warned.
The Bolshaya Udina volcano, is part of a complex of volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
Standing around 10,000ft (3,000m) high, the colossal volcano was – until 2017 – dismissed as extinct.
However a groundbreaking new study has revealed the volcano is again active and could be set to violently erupt like Mount St Helens.
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Professor Ivan Koulakov, vice-director of the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, the study’s lead researcher told Express.co.uk: “When a volcano is silent for a long time, its first explosion can be catastrophic.”
Bolshaya Udina was never considered to be an active volcano before.
The mountain is just one in a cluster of other volcanoes, some of which are very active and some of which are permanently active.
However, Bolshaya Udina did not exhibit any seismic activity since the permanent monitoring of these volcanos started in 1961.
So it has always been considered to be an extinct volcano.
Professor Koulakov said: “The geological signatures indicate there was no seismic activity there for thousands of years.
“Geologists cannot even estimate when Udina last erupted because it was a very long time ago.
“Then suddenly in December 2017, some seismic activity started on Udina.”
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