Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Ancient underwater volcanic range may explain why Australia and New Zealand separated

A chance discovery by an Australian scientific vessel searching for lobster larvae has uncovered a range of underwater volcanoes that have remained inactive, and unknown, for an estimated  50 million years.
While scanning the seabed more than 150 miles off the coast of Sydney, scientists found a cluster of volcanoes sitting three miles beneath the ocean’s surface. In all there were four extinct volcanoes, the largest nearly a mile wide and rising some 2,000ft above the sea floor.
The volcanoes, now calderas which form after the eruption when the land around them collapses, may reveal why Australia and New Zealand separated between 40 and 80 million years ago.
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