Australia under threat of volcanic eruption

By | September 23, 2009 Australian states are at risk from a major volcanic eruption which geological history indicates is “well overdue” an expert warned this week.

University of Melbourne geologist Bernie Joyce said the threat of volcanic eruption in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland should be given more attention by emergency management authorities.

“The geological record shows that new volcanoes in these areas have erupted perhaps every 2,000 years in the past 40,000 years — and given there has not been a major eruption there for the past 5,000 years, a significant eruption seems well overdue,” he said.

Melbourne in the firing line

A volcanic eruption in Victoria’s Western Uplands could potentially see lava flows and ash falls impacting on Melbourne, Joyce told Cosmos Online.

“There is also similar volcano risk present in various provinces in Far North Queensland, stretching from south-west of Townsville to near Cairns and up to Cooktown in the Far North.

“There are more than 380 volcanoes in total across this part of Queensland,” said Joyce, who will receive the Selwyn Medal for significant contributions in the Earth Sciences tomorrow at the Geological Society of Australia’s annual Selwyn Symposium. …

via Australia under threat of volcanic eruption | COSMOS magazine.

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