Did you know eastern Australia is home to the world's longest known chain of continental volcanoes?
The 2,000 kilometre chain covers from the Whitsundays in North Queensland to near Melbourne in central Victoria.
"We realised that the same hotspot had caused volcanoes in the Whitsundays and the central Victoria region, and also some rare features in New South Wales, roughly halfway between them," said Dr Davies, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.
A volcanic plug in Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland [Image credit: Mike Griinke]
"The track is nearly three times the length of the famous Yellowstone hotspot track on the North American continent.”
ANU’s research reveals that a hidden hotspot once churned beneath the surface, connecting the string of volcanoes into a superchain.
It’s hoped that the discovery may help scientists reconstruct the past movements of continents from other hotspots.
Dr. Rhodri Davies with volcanic rock [Image credit: Stuart Hay, ANU]