A global workforce of subsurface explorers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland have uncovered a beforehand undescribed ‘Jurassic World’ of round 100 ancient volcanoes buried deep inside the Cooper-Eromanga Basins of central Australia.
The Cooper-Eromanga Basins within the north-jap nook of South Australia and south-western nook of Queensland is Australia’s largest onshore oil and fuel-producing area of Australia. However, regardless of about 60 years of petroleum exploration and manufacturing, this historical Jurassic volcanic underground panorama has gone largely unnoticed.
Revealed within the journal Gondwana Research, the researchers used superior subsurface imaging methods, analogous to medical CT scanning, to determine the plethora of volcanic craters and lava flows, and the deeper magma chambers that fed them. They’ve referred to as the volcanic region the Warnie Volcanic Province, with a nod to Australian cricket legend Shane Warne.
The volcanoes developed within the Jurassic interval, between 180 and 160 million years in the past, and have been subsequently buried beneath lots of meters of sedimentary — or layered — rocks.
The Cooper-Eromanga Basins at the moment are a dry and barren panorama however in Jurassic instances, the researchers say, would have been a panorama of fissures and craters, spewing hot ash and into the air, and surrounded river channels, evolving into giant lakes and coal-swamps.
The analysis was carried out by Jonathon Hardman, then a Ph.D. pupil on the University of Aberdeen, as a part of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Fuel.
The scientists say that Jurassic-aged sedimentary rocks bearing oil, gas, and water have been economically vital for Australia; however, this newest discovery suggests much more volcanic activity within the Jurassic interval than beforehand supposed.