The East Australian Cainzoic Volcanic Provinces an Overview of their Petrology and Chemistry

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
A broad zone of intra-plate volcanism occurs for some 3000 km along the E. Australian coastal regions, extending from far northern Queensland southwards to Tasmania, westwards to western Victoria, and into southeastern South Australia. The age range, taken over the whole region, extends from Eocene to Holocene. Wellman & McDougall (1974) recognised the occurrence of three distinct types of volcanic occurrences: (a) Lava field provinces, dominantly basaltic and commonly strongly undersaturated, but of variable size. Large lava fields are especially exemplified by the younger provinces in northern Queensland (e.g. Nulla, McBride), and western Victoria. (b) Central volcano provinces, in which a reasonably well defined volcanic edifice is discernable. Such provinces are built of mildly undersaturated to saturated mafic lavas, but are also characterised by felsic volcanism (and often substantial mafic and felsic intrusive phases). Examples are the Springsure-Minerva Hills province, the Tweed and Focal Peak Shields (southeastern Queensland to northeastern N.S.W.), and the Nandewars, Warrumbungles, and Canobolas volcanic centres (N.S.W.). (c) A single leucitite province in N.S.W. Wellman and McDougall (1974) were able to show that the central volcano provinces exhibit a remarkably regular southward age migration pattern, the calculated migration rate being 66 + 5 mm yr , and these authors interpreted this in terms of the northward passage of the Australian plate across a fixed 'hotspot' within the upper mantle. The leucitite province also fits this migration pattern. The lava field provinces apparently exhibit more erratic regional age distribution patterns, but Sutherland (1981) has interpreted the data in terms of a multiple 'hotspot' model. It is noted, however, that the youngest areas of volcanism (Pleistocene 1. Department of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland
Full Article Download:
(542 kb)