A “Jurassic World” of Volcanoes Found in Cooper-Eromanga Basins

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A team of subsurface explorers discovered more than 100 ancient volcanoes within the Cooper-Eromanga Basins in Australia!

These international explorers, hailed from the University of Adelaide (Australia) and the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). They were the first ones to find several volcanoes in the Cooper-Eromanga Basins. These basins lie in the north-eastern corner of South Australia. The location delivers a huge amount of oil as a popular onshore oil and gas producing region in the country. Even after six decades of petroleum exploration, these ancient volcanoes remained undiscovered!

Use of Advanced Imaging Techniques to Explore “Jurassic World”

The explorers made use of advanced subsurface imaging techniques. The process tracks volcanic craters, lava flows, and magma chambers located deep within the earth’s crust. The volcanic region is known as the Warnie Volcanic Province, after the Australian cricket spin legend, Shane Warne!

The exploration revealed that the basins are now a dry and barren land. They were full of craters and fissures during Jurassic times. The land spewed hot ash and lava into the atmosphere and created various lakes and coal-swamps nearby.

Several “undiscovered volcanic worlds” underneath

Associate Professor Simon Holford, from Australian School of Petroleum mentions that the earth’s interiors housed the ancient volcanic “Jurassic world” for a long period of time.  Most volcanic activity occurs at the edges of tectonic plates or under the oceans. The professor expects the discovery of other undiscovered volcanic worlds lying beneath, soon.

Jonathon Hardman, a Ph.D. student at the University of Aberdeen, conducted this research as part of his doctoral training in Oil and Gas. The ancient sedimentary rocks featuring oil, gas, and water are important resources in Australia. But this discovery hints at huge volcanic activity that was not known before.