Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) in Australia Implications for Mantle Dynamics Through Geological Time

The LIPs in Australia span almost the entire history of the Earth from the Early Archaean to the Recent. In continental Australia LIPs are represented by flood basalts, oceanic plateaux fragments, volcanic rifted margins, layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions, sill complexes, dyke swarms and volcanic provinces that are silicic dominated. Several geologists have begun focusing on Australian LIPs recently. A new LIP was found at Warakurna, dated to about 1,070 Ma, that extends for almost 1,500 km along an E-W trend, based on U-Pb dating of baddeleyite from mafic sills and dykes. Other igneous provinces that were added to the list of LIPs include the Fortescue, Hart-Carson, Kalkarindji (formerly the Antrim Plateau Volcanics) as well as various dyke swarms, such as Widgiemooltha, Marnda Moorn and Gairdner. The Bunbury Basalt was added to the list of LIPs because of its age links with the very large Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean, though it only covers a small area of the Cape Naturaliste-Cape Leeuwin Peninsula. The Whitsunday Volcanic Province of Early Cretaceous age in eastern Australia, the largest known silicic LIP, is comparable to the Chon Aike silicic LIP in South America.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Pirajno, F. and D. M. Hoatson (2012). "A review of Australia's Large Igneous Provinces and associated mineral systems: Implications for mantle dynamics through geological time." Ore Geology Reviews 48(0): 2-54.


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 29/04/2015
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