People, Environment

Volcano Superchain Discovered in Australia

Volcano Superchain Discovered  in AustraliaVolcano Superchain Discovered  in Australia

Scientists have discovered the world’s longest known chain of continental volcanoes running across Eastern Australia. The 2,000-kilometer chain covers from the Whitsundays in North Queensland to near Melbourne in central Victoria, National Geographic reported. “We realized 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 Rhodri Davies, an earth scientist at Australian National University.  “The track is nearly three times the length of the famous Yellowstone hotspot track on the North American continent.” The newly discovered Australian volcano chain is not a complete surprise, though. Geologists have long known of small, separate chains of volcanic activity on the island continent. However, new research reveals a hidden hotspot once churned beneath regions with no signs of surface volcanism, connecting these separate strings of volcanoes into one megachain. It is hoped that the discovery may help scientists reconstruct the past movements of continents from other hotspots.