Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Australian Environment Geology

The Australian continent6 

Australia  is an extensive, low continent with an area of about 7.66 million km2, and a mean height above the present sea level of 330 m, and 200 km2 less than 200 m above sea level. The highest point on the continent is Mt Kosciuszko that rises to 2,227 m, not an impressive height on a world scale. According to Twidale6 Australia is a compact continent that has few major islands, inlets or embayments and a coastline of a bit less than 20,000 km. The ratio of shore length to land area of about 1 km of coast for every 390 km2 (1:390), while the ratio of coast to land area of peninsula and insular Europe is 1:75. The Gulf of Carpentaria, Bonaparte Gulf and King Sound on the north coast, Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay on the west and Port Phillip Bay and gulf St. Vincent and Spencer Gulf on the south. Tasmania and Kangaroo Island in the south Fraser Island on the east, and Groote EyIandt, Melville Island and Bathurst Island off the north coast are the only major islands. Endorheic streams that flow to basins of internal drainage serve more than half of the continental area. The Lake Eyre catchment accounts for 1.3 million km2 of central and northeastern Australia. Exoreic streams (rivers that flow to the sea) serve less than half the continent, with the River Murray being of notable length but has a low discharge rate as for much of its length it passes through arid areas.


From sources 1-5

The Australian continent is unique in a number of ways. It is the driest, flattest, oldest, it has the most erratic climate of any continent, and much of it experiences great extremes of rainfall both during a year and from year to year. As a result of this, poor soil, arid and unpredictable climate over most of the continent, the plants, and therefore the animals that depend on them, have evolved into a unique flora and fauna.

Lack of volcanic or seismic activity leading to mountain building over much of the continent for many millions of years means that what mountain ranges there were have been worn down by erosion to mere stubs of their former glory. The soil over much of Australia, especially the dry central parts, have not been renewed by volcanic activity for a very long time and are impoverished compared to soils from most other parts of the world. Another factor in the formation of fertile soils that was absent in Australia was glaciers. During the ice ages of the last 2.6 million years, glaciers covered much of the Northern Hemisphere, grinding unweathered rock into fine particles that became soil enriched with new minerals when the glaciers retreated. During this time period Australia had cold windy periods at times of Northern Hemisphere glaciations, but no, or very limited, glaciers. Any that formed were on the high country that is such a small part of the Australian landscape.

After being recycled many times over much of the history of the Earth, with no new rock added by volcanism, the soils of arid Australia have been weathered and leached more than any others making them the most nutrient-deficient soils in the world. And most of Australia spent many millions of years covered by seas. In many places these seas were eventually cut off from the ocean and evaporation formed huge salt deposits which were later buried. So added to this impoverished state of the soils there are vast areas where there are salt deposits beneath the surface which means when land is cleared for agriculture the removal of deep-rooted trees and shrubs mean the water table rises. By the time the water table gets close to the surface it has passed through these salt layers and so causes salinisation in the root zone and eventually at the surface, which makes the land useless for agriculture.

A place where salt is a serious problem is the West Australian wheat belt.


The geologic history and its climatic contrasts are reflected in the landforms. There are 3 major structural components, the stable Western Shield, the gently warped Central Basin, and the ancient orogeny of the Eastern Uplands, which have been rejuvenated by differential uplift in Tertiary and later times. The result is the vast plains and plateaux of the Australian landscape. There are not many areas above about 1700 m, and even at Mt Kosciusko, the highest point on the continent, it is less then 3000 m above sea level. Not high compared with the mountains in other parts of the world.

According to Twidale & Campbell (Source 5), the lack of recent earth movement is a main cause of the widespread prevalence of relatively low-lying plains. The Late Palaeozoic was the time when the most recent episode of mountain building occurred in Australia, with the deformation and uplift of the Eastern Highlands. There have been many episodes of warping and faulting, that were widespread but minor, since the orogenesis that produced the Eastern Highlands. The authors suggest that about 30 million years would be required to base-level a continent of the size of Australia, after allowing for isostatic compensation that would result from erosional unloading, allowing plenty of time since the last major orogenesis for the formation of extensive plains by weathering and erosion. According to Twidale & Campbell, the compact shape of the Australian continent has contributed to the tendency for widespread plantation, with few major indentations or embayments along the extensive coastline. This meant that as sea level changes occurred the resulting changes of river behaviour were limited to the margins of the continent, with the coastal rivers being the only rivers affected, the inland rivers being shielded from such impacts. On the east coast the short, steep rivers have not regressed as much as would be expected, some having eroded headwords by about 100 km in about 60 My. In the later Tertiary the Lake Eyre Basin began to subside, resulting in the internal (endogenetic) drainage system that drains much of inland Australia. Depositional plains are also a prominent feature of inland Australia (Twidale & Campbell, Source 5).

These components have determined the outline of the continent and the overall pattern of drainage and relief. In the east, the peripheral uplift in the Eastern Uplands has resulted in the highest ground being near the coast.

In the west of the continent, there is a narrow plain between the faulted edge of the shield and the coast. In the north-west the highest ground is in the marginal line of the Hamersley, Kimberley and Arnhem Land Plateaux. The external drainage on 3 sides of the continent is restricted to a narrow strip around the edge of the continent on  3 sides totaling about 1/3 of the continental area.

The Central Basin has 2 major inward-draining drainage systems, the interior drainage towards lake Eyre, and the Murray-Darling system. The Murray-Darling system has maintained a connection to the sea, mostly because of the extra water draining from the south-eastern part of the Great Dividing Range

The structure of the drainage systems, where the coastal areas, where most of the rain falls, is drained to the sea, and the inward flowing drainage of the rest of the continent, that receives very little rain, conspires in such a way that vast tracts of central Australia depend for their water on the intermittent floods that are channeled from the monsoonal areas of northern Australia along normally dry channels. While the monsoon rarely fails completely, the amount of rain delivered to the north varies. It is only in very wet years that the water reaches all the way to Lake Eyre, especially as a lot of the water is absorbed into the dry channel beds and evaporates in the hot dry air of the  interior long before it reaches Lake Eyre. Away from the ameliorating influence of the coast the temperatures can get very high in central Australia during summer.

Nearly all of the area inland of the peripheral drainage systems generates less the about 3 cm per year of run-off. As aridity has increased any rivers that had existed on the low gradient sandy surfaces of the shield areas have disintegrated or disappeared entirely. A similar condition, no rivers, occurs also on the Nullarbor Plain and the in the Simpson Desert.

These 3 major structural components are convenient divisions for describing the landform assemblages of Australia.

Acraman Impact Horizon see Ediacaran Fauna
Accretionary Prism
Adelaide Fold Belt See Neoproterozoic Australia
Adelaide Rift Complex (=Adelaide Geosyncline) See Neoproterozoic Australia
Adelaidean (Late Proterozoic) Basins in Australia - Stratigraphy, Correlation and Sedimentary History
Adventure Tracks
Alaska Subduction Zone – Tsunamic Structures in a Creeping Section
Albany-Fraser Orogen, Western Australia – Transformation of the Margin of a Craton from the Archaean During Formation of a Basin and Magmatism in the Proterozoic
The Central Alpine Fault, New Zealand, New On-Fault Evidence of a Great Earthquake in AD 1717
Amelia Creek Impact Structure
Ancient Australian Landscapes
Ancient Ecosystem in the Dresser Formation Dated to About 3.48 Ga in the Pilbara, Western Australia
Anomalous Zones the Size of Continents of Low Seismic Velocity at the Base of the Mantle
Antarctica - Before and After Gondwana
Antarctica - Borchgrevink Event
Antarctica - East Antarctica, Major Components
Antarctica – Mobile Magma Beneath the Ice
Antarctica Volcanic Eruption the Largest in the Holocene – Timing and Widespread effects
Antarctica - West Antarctica, Major Components
Antarctica - Geological History
Antarctica Has a Huge Mantle Plume Beneath it, Which Might Explain its High Degree of Instability
Antarctica - Palaeozoic Orogenic Events
Antarctica - Precambrian Orogenic Events
Antarctica - Role in Global Environment
The Earth – A Planetary System that Has Been Evolving
East Antarctica - Relative Sea-Level Rise During Oligocene Glaciation
Antarctic and Greenland Ice Cores Directly Linked at the Toba Eruption - 74 ka BP
Antarctic Weathering and Carbonate Compensation at the Transition from the Eocene to the Oligocene 
Archaean Continental Crust and Subcontinental lithospheric Mantle – Coupled Evolution
Archaean Crust formation in Western Australia – Secular Change Recorded
Arctic Ocean Giant Caldera – Evidence of the Catastrophic Event
Arcoona Plateau and the Tent Hills
Argoland - Argo Abyssal Plain
Aridification of Australia
Arnhem Land - Arnhem Block
A-tents (pop-ups)
Atmospheric Pressure of Earth 2.7 Ga Constrained to Less than Half of Modern Levels
Australia and Antarctica – Early Opening, New Inferences and Consequences for the Region
Australia Separates from Antarctica
Drifting Australia A Timeline
Australia Drifting - a timeline of changes
Australia - Geological Framework
Australia - Morphotectonics
Australia - Physique
Australian Plate
Australia - Plates and Lineaments
The Unique Influence of Australia on the Global Sea Level in 2010-2011
Australian Alps
Australian-Antarctic Depression
Australian Continent
Australian Continent – the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Transition and Radial Anisotropy Beneath the Continent
Australian Landscapes - Cretaceous to recent
Australian Palaeoproterozoic  
Australian Mesoproterozoic
Australian Neoproterozoic
Australian Palaeoclimate and Palaeogeography - Jurassic
Australian Proterozoic Evolution - Palaeomagnetic Constraints
    North Australian Cratonic Assemblage  
    South Australian Cratonic Assemblage  
    West Australian Cratonic Assemblage  
Australian Soils
Australian Tectonic and Metallogenic Evolution - A Summery Pt.1
Australian Tectonic and Metallogenic Evolution - A Summery Pt.2
Australian Tectonic and Metallogenic Evolution - A Summery Pt.3
Australian Volcanoes
Australian Western Margin – Evolution During the Supercontinent of Rodinia and Gondwana
Banded Iron Formation - Hydrothermal and Resedimented Origins of Precursor Sediments
Basal Drag from Convecting Mantle Shifted the Cratonic Root Beneath North America
Basin Development Eastern Australia
Baxter Cliffs -
Bedout High
Bedrock Canyon – Amplification by Wind Incision
The Blue Mountains
Breakup of Gondwana - India from Antarctica and Australia
Breakup of Gondwana - Australia from Antarctica
Gondwana Breakup Implications – K-Ar Dating of Fault Gouge in the Northern Sydney Basin, NSW, Australia
Broken Bay - example of geological history during times of low sea level
Bunda Cliffs - Nullarbor Plain
Bunda Plateau - Nullarbor Plain
Bungle Bungles
Cambrian Marine Shelfal Settings – Widespread mixing in the Early to Middle Cambrian
Canning Basin
Cape York Peninsula
Capricorn Orogeny
Capricorn Orogen, Australia – In-situ U-Pb Geochronology of Xenotime and Monazite, Abra Polymetallic Deposit
Carbon Fluxes from Land to Ocean - Anthropic Perturbations
Central Australia
Central Australian Basins
Central Australian Groundwater Discharge Zone
Centralian Superbasin See Neoproterozoic Australia
Chambers Pillar
Chemical Weathering
Collision of East and West Gondwana
Continental Domain Reconstruction – 200 Ma to Present
Continent Growth Linked to 2-step Rise of Atmospheric Oxygen
Cooper Creek - Climate Change and Aeolian-Fluvial Interaction and Development of Source-Bordering Dunes over the Past 100 ka
Cooper Creek Fan - Late Quaternary and Fluvial Interactions
Core Outer Layer Stratified by a Sunken Impactor  
Core Rotational Dynamics and Geological Events
Cradle Mountain
The Earliest Evolved Crust on Earth Generated in Setting like Iceland
Cryogenian Datangpo Formation, South China - Reconstruction of Palaeo-Redox Conditions and Early Sulphur Cycling
Earth’s longest continental Hotspot Track – Lithospheric Controls on Magma Composition
Cryogenian Dating
Cryogenian-Ediacaran Transition - Organic Carbon Isotope Constraints on the Dissolved Organic Carbon (Doc) Reservoir   
Delamerian orogeny
Delamerian Supercycle
Devil's Marbles
Drifting - Changes on the Continent
Drifting - Changes to drainage systems resulting from rifting
Drifting - direction change in the Middle Cretaceous and Middle Eocene
Drought, Groundwater Storage and Declining Stream Flow in Southwestern Australia  
Early Earth – Prebiotic Chemistry and Atmospheric Warming by an Active Young Sun
Early Earth and an Atmospheric Solar Shock
Ediacara Member, Rawnsley Quartzite, South Australia, Depositional and Preservational Environments – Assessment of palaeoenvironmental Proxies and Timing of ‘Ferruginisation’
Earthquake Distribution
Earthquake Nias-Simeuline – Deformation and Slip along the Sunda Megathrust 2015
Hadean Granites Formation by Melting of Igneous Crust
Himalayan Thrust Fault – Main Thrust Fault Unzipped by Gorkha Earthquake of 2015
Eastern Australia
Ediacaran Outgassing – Evidence for a Spike in Outgassing of Carbon from the Mantle in the Ediacaran
Effects of water from the Great Artesian Basin on soil
Elatina Glaciation, Late Cryogenian (Marinoan Epoch), South Australia – Sedimentary Facies and Palaeoenvironments 
Elatina Formation
Earliest Earth – Minimum Melting Conditions Revealed by Zircon Thermometer
Emeishan Large Igneous Province
End-Permian Climate Systematic Swings Resulting from Outgassing of Carbon and Sulphur from the Siberian Traps
Erosional and destructional surfaces
Exhumed surfaces and forms
Low Friction and Fault Weakening Revealed by Increasing Sensitivity of Tremor to Tidal Stress  
Flinders Ranges
Flinders Ranges - Deep Erosion and River Patterns
The Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia - the Paralana Hot Springs, an Active Amagmatic Hydrothermal System
Flood Basalts -Bigger and Badder
Double Flood Basalts and Plume Head Separation at the Discontinuity at 660-km depth
Flood Basalt Provinces Containing Mafic Volcaniclastic Deposits - Review
Flood Basalts, Continental Breakup and Dispersal of Gondwana - Periodic Migration of Upwelling Mantle Flows (Plumes)
Flood Basalt Provinces Containing Mafic Volcaniclastic Deposits - Review
Deccan Flood Basalts - Early and Late Igneous Pulses and a High 3He Plume Origin
Deccan Volcanism - Chemostratigraphic Evidence from the Marine Osmium Isotope Record
Flood Basalts, Continental Breakup and Dispersal of Gondwana - Periodic Migration of Upwelling Mantle Flows (Plumes)
Siberian Flood Basalts
Deccan Volcanism State Shift at Cretaceous-Palaeogene Boundary Possibly Impact Induced
Siberian Traps – Volcanic Pulses as inferred from Permo-Triassic Geomagnetic Secular Variations
Siberian Flood Basalts - High Tritium Plume Origin and Temporal Spatial Evolution
The Siberian Traps - Magnitude and Consequences of Volatile release
Siberian Flood Basalt Province Doubled - West Siberian Basin 40Ar/39Ar Dates
Siberian Traps Flood Basalts - Rapid Eruption at Permian-Triassic Boundary
Flood Basalts - Trigger for End-Triassic Extinction
Fluvial Landforms
Gawler Craton
Western Gawler Craton, Australia – Shear Zone architecture in the Christie Domain, Geophysical Appraisal of an Orogenic Terrain that is Poorly Exposed
A Geodynamo of Hadean to Paleoarchaean Age recorded by Single Zircon Crystals
Geological History see more
Glaciers – Substantial mass Loss in the Tien Shan over the past 50 Years
Glaciation on Baltica in the Late Neoproterozoic - the Timing Constrained by Detrital Zircon from Geochronology in the Hedmark Group, Southeast Norway
Glikson Impact Structure
Gorkha Earthquake, Nepal – Slip Pulse and Resonance of the Kathmandu Basin during the 2015 event
Gorkha Earthquake – Himalayan Strain Reservoir Inferred from Limited Degree of Slip after the Event
Gosse's bluff
Great Artesian Basin of Australia – connectivity with the Underlying Basins, and the Cainozoic Cover
Great Australian Basin - Opalisation
Great Australian Bight
Great Barrier Reef
Great Dividing Range
The Great Oxidation Event - Evolution of Multicellularity Coincided with an Increase of Cyanobacterial Diversification
East Greenland – North Atlantic Igneous Province
Greenland-Iceland-Faroe Complex
Groundwater Geochemistry and Associated hardpans in Southwestern Australia
The Habitats of Early Life – Processes on the Young Earth
Hadean Age Confirmed for a Zircon Crystallised Following the Magma Ocean by Atom-Probe Tomography
Hadean Plate Boundary Interactions are Suggested by Low Heat Flow that is Inferred From >4 Ga Zircons
Hampton Range - Nullarbor Plain
Heavitree Quartzite See Neoproterozoic Australia
Hiawatha Glacier in Northwest Greenland – A Large Impact Crater
Iapetus Ocean
Largest impact zone in the World Believed Uncovered in Central Australia by ANU Researchers
Regulation of Ice Stream Flow Through Subglacial Formation of Gas Hydrates
Indo-Australian Plate
Independent Evaluation of Conflicting Microspherule Results from Different Investigations of the Impact Hypothesis for the Younger Dryas
Interglacial Carbonates, Umberatana Group, Flinders Ranges, South Australia
    Mt Jacob Region  
    Oodnaminta Hut and Illinawortina regions
Jack Hills, Western Australia
Jack Hills Detrital Zircons Internal Zoning & U-Th-Pb Chemistry – Mineral Record of Magmatism in the Early Archaean to Mesoproterozoic 4,348-1,576 Ma
Jack Hills - Light Carbon Reservoir Recorded in Zircon-Hosted Diamond
Jack Hills Hadean Crust – Ophiolitic Trondhjemites - A Possible Analogue for Felsic ‘Crust’
Jack Hills and Mt. Narryer, Earth’s Oldest Detritus – Tracing provenance and recrystallisation processes with an In Situ Sm-Nd study of monazite
Jack Hills - Mineral Inclusions in 4 Ga Zircons Provide Constraints on Hadean Geodynamics
Jack Hills, Western Australia – Events from the Proterozoic Recorded in Quartzite Cobbles, New Restraints and Source of 4.0 Ga Zircons
Jack Hills Zircons – Hadean Crustal Evolution Revisited, New Constraints From Pb-Hf Systematics
Jurassic Sedimentary and fossil successions in Australia
Palaeomagnetic Restraints on the Proterozoic Tectonic Evolution of Australia
The Great Journey North
    Stages on the Way
The Great Journey South
Hamersley Range
Mid-late Holocene Variability of sea level in Eastern Australia
Mid-Ocean Ridges – Small Scale Convection and Plate Motion Control Mixing
Hunter-Bowen Supercycle
Ice Ages
Australian Bedrock Erosion - Exceptionally Low Rates and the likelihood of pre-Pleistocene Landscapes based on 10Be and 26Al evidence
Island Arc Systems - Morphology
Israelite Plains - Nullarbor Plain
Journey Back Through Time
Kalbarri Coast
Kanimblan Orogeny
Kanimblan Cycle
Katherine Gorge
Kimberley Block
Kimberley Region, WA, PalaeoproterozoiccPost-Collisional, High-K Felsic Igneous Rocks, Tectonic ImplicationsPost-Collisional, High-K Felsic Igneous Rocks, Tectonic Implications
Kimberly Region, Western Australia, Glaciation in the Late Neoproterozoic - an 17O
King's Canyon
Lachlan Fold Belt (Lachlen Orogeny)
Lachlan Orogen - Crustal Complexity revealed from Telesceismic Receiver Functions
Lachlan Supercycle
Lake Eyre-tidal signatures found-previously thought to be exclusively marine structures
Lanai Tsunami Impact About 105 Ka? Catastrophic Wave Erosion, Southeast Coast, Australia
Large Igneous Provinces
Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) in Australia – Implications for Mantle Dynamics Through Geological Time
Large Igneous provinces - Essential Criteria – Distinguish a LIP from a non-LIP  
Large Igneous Provinces - Essential Attributes of LIPs - Magmatism Duration
Large Igneous Provinces – Explosive Basaltic Volcanism
Large Igneous Provinces – Intraplate Tectonic Setting
Large Igneous Provinces – Intrusive Beneath Sedimentary Basins, an Example from Exmouth Plateau, NW Australia
Lower-Mantle Water Reservoir Implied by the Extreme Stability of a Hydrous Aluminosilicate
Linear Dune Formation: Local Wind Rifting or Longitudinal Elongation - Strzelecki Desert, Central Australia
LIPs - Brito-Arctic flood basalts/North Atlantic Igneous Province
LIPs - The Caribbean-Columbian Plateau and Madagascar flood basalts

LIPs - Central Atlantic Magmatic Province

LIPs - Deccan Traps
LIPs - Ethiopian and Columbia River flood basalts
LIPs - Karoo & Ferrar traps
LIPs - Ontong Java Plateau
LIPs - The Panjal Volcanics and Emeishan flood basalts
 LIPs - Paranα and Etendeka flood basalts

LIPs - Siberian Traps

Mantle Flow on a Large Scale Revealed by Global Dynamic Topography Observations to Have a Limited Influence
Deep mantle plume - Convective Upwelling beneath the Pacific Ocean
Mantle Plume Head - Influence on Dynamics of Retreating Subduction Zone
Mantle Plumes - Are They Periodic?
Mantle Plumes – the Persistent Myth
High Mantle Temperatures after Rifting Resulting from Continental Insulation
Main Himalayan Thrust – Rate of Convergence Across the Nepal Himalaya and Interseismic Coupling on the MHT, implications for Seismic Hazard
Major Flow Regime Changes in the Middle and Late Quaternary in Eastern Central Australia
Older and Hotter Mantle - Geodynamics of the Mantle
MAPCIS - Massive Australian Precambrian-Cambrian Impact Structure
Marinoan Glaciation
Marinoan Snowball Earth Glaciation – Ice Sheet Fluctuations that were Orbitally Forced
Mass Movements of Materials
Megathrust Linked to Active Subduction Beneath the Indo-Burman Ranges
Mawson Continent
Mesoproterozoic Plume-Modified Orogenesis in Eastern Precambrian Australia
Millennial-Scale Landslide record in Andes Consistent with Being Triggered by Earthquakes
Mt Babbage, Northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Mt Paektu (Changbaishan in China) – Evidence for Partial Melt in the Crust Beneath Mt Paektu, a Supervolcano, North Korea and China
Mountain Uplift and Global Cooling
Mount Connor
Mount Kinahan Sandstone See Neoproterozoic Australia
Mt Lofty Ranges
Musgrave Block - also
Musgravian Orogeny
Musgrave Province
A Sillimanite-Bearing Quartzite from Mt Narryer, Western Australia with a High Abundance of Grains and Age-distribution of Detrital Zircons from the Early Archaean
Narryer Gneiss Complex, Western Australia – SHRIMP U-Pb Geochronology
Neoproterozoic Australia
Neoproterozoic Basaltic Magmatism, South-Central Australia Ion Microprobe U-Pb Ages and Implications for Rodinia Breakup
Newell's Hypothesis
New England Fold Belt
New Volcanic Province – Inventory of Subglacial Volcanoes in West Antarctica
Ninetyeast Ridge – Active Faulting and Its relation to the Deformation of the Indo-Australian Plate
North and West of the Gawler Craton
North Australian Craton – Reworking in the Grenvillian of late Palaeoproterozoic Crust of the Southern NAC, Central Australia, Implications for the Assembly of Australia in the Mesoproterozoic
Northwestern Australia and East Africa – A Deglaciation Event in the Early Permian between these 2 Landmasses
Nuccaleena Formation, South Australia - Testing Models for Post glacial Deposition of 'Cap Dolostone'
Nullarbor Plain
Ocean Arcs – Generation of Continental Crust
Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 - Lithium Isotope Evidence of Enhanced Weathering
Oceanic Crustal Thickness Decrease After Breakup of Pangaea
Open-System Dynamics and Mixing in Magma Mushes
Pacific Ocean Volcanism Related to Deformation Linked to the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend
The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) – Shallow Marine Response to Climate Change in Salisbury Embayment, USA
Northwest Australia – Evidence for Synchrony of marine and terrestrial ecosystems that is driven by climate
Palaeozoic Era
Pangaea - A Proposed Formation
Permian-Triassic Neo-Tethyan Margin of Gondwana – Catastrophic Environmental transition
Perth Basin
Pidingaa Formation -Formation - Nullarbor Plain
Physical Weathering
Pilbara Craton
Pilbara OPS
Pinnacle Desert see Nambung National Park see Perth Basin - Cervantes-Jurien Area
Plate Tectonics
Plate Motion Velocities – Palaeomagnetic Evidence for Modern-Like Velocities at 3.2 Ga
Pleistocene Megafauna Extinctions – Legacy on Nutrient Availability in Amazonia
Polar Wander Linked to Climate Change
Tectonism, Climate and Geomorphology
Precambrian-Cambrian Boundary Geology, South Australia - Ocean Basin formation, Seawater Chemistry & Organic Evolution
Precambrian Heat Flow
Precambrian Ice Age
Precambrian Tectonics
Profiles of the southern continents
Propagating Rifts and Microplates 
Proterozoic Australia and Cainozoic Antarctica - Association of Sulphate Evaporites, Stromatolitic Carbonates and Glacial Sediments
Pyramid Hill
Record of 3.8 Billion Years of Sea Floor Spreading, Subduction and Accretion – Recognition of Ocean Plate Stratigraphy in Accretionary Orogens Through the History of the Earth
Recycled Selenium Records Ocean-Atmosphere Oxygenation in Lavas Influenced by Hot Spots
Regimes - Innamincka Regime See Australian Palaeogeography
Regimes - Potoroo See Australian Palaeogeography
The Rhynie Chert – Stratigraphic setting and taphonomy
Continental Rifts & Rifted Margins
Narrow Rifts - General Characteristics
Riverine Plains
Roe Plains - Nullarbor Plain
Scraped by flat bed Subduction
Separation-Drainage Changes
Sheet Fractures
Sandstone Landforms – Shaped by Negative Feedback between Stress and Erosion
Siberian Traps- End Permian Mass Extinction Confirmed to have Resulted from Voluminous Magmatism Before, During and After Extinction Event
Simpson Desert
Slab Melting Beneath the Cascade Arc Driven by Dehydration of Altered Oceanic Peridotite
Slab Stagnation in Shallow Lower Mantle Linked to Increased Mantle Viscosity
Slope Stability near Wollongong, Australia - the Influence of Debris Mantles and Local Climatic Variations
Snowball Earth
Snowball Earth - an Interglacial? Dynamic Behaviour of Ice in the Chuos Formation, Namibia
Snowball or Slushball Earth
Snowball Earth - Evidence of Low 18O Magmatism During Rifting of a Supercontinent in South China
Soom Shale - South Africa
Southeast Australia – Multiple Felsic Events in Volcanism Later than 10 Ma: Inputs in Appraising Magmatic Models that are Proposed
Southern Ocean
Siberia and Laurentia – Long-Lived Connection between Southern Siberia and Northern Laurentia in the Proterozoic
The Southwestern Indian Ridge - Continuous exhumation of rocks derived from the Mantle for 11 My
Southwest Tasmania
Stability of Australia
Stirling Range - Koi Kyeunu-ruff 
Strzelecki Desert & Tirari Desert – Timing of Linear Dune Activity
Stromatolites from the Neoproterozoic in Glaciogenic Successions, Kimberley Region, Western Australia - Evidence of a Younger Marinoan Glaciation
Strzelecki & Tirari Deserts in Australia – Characterisation of Aeolian Sediments
Strzelecki and Tirari Deserts, Australia - Timing of Linear Dune Activity
Strzelecki and Tirari Deserts - Constraining Soil Formation in Linear Dunes
Sturtian Glaciation
Subducted Crust Stored in the Mantle for Billions of Years
Subduction-Induced Mantle Flow Driving Yellowstone Plume Bifurcation
Subduction Zones
Subduction Zones - Components
Subduction Zones - Structure
Subduction Zones - Variation of Characteristics
Submarine Canyons
Whiter the Supercontinent Cycle
Supercontinent cycle
Supercontinent Cycle & Icehouse to Greenhouse Cycle
Supercontinent Cycle & Mantle Convection
Supercontinents and Superplume Events
Super Eruptions and Super Volcanoes (Megacalderas)
Superplumes – Fine-Scale Ultra-Low Velocity Zone Layering and Core-Mantle Boundary and Superplumes
Superplumes – A Geochemical and Petrological view of Mantle Plume
Superplumes – Global Circulation of Material and Petrogenesis of Superplume Rocks
Superplumes – Material Circulation Over Time
Superplumes - Multiscale Seismic Tomography of Mantle Plumes and Subducting Slabs
Superplumes – Past-Perovskite Investigated by First Principles
Superplumes – Post-Perovskite Phase Transition and the Nature of the Dʺ Layer
Superplumes – Structure of the Earth – Thermal and Compositional
Superplumes - Seismological constraints on the structure of the Core of the Earth
Superplumes – Subduction Zone – the Water Channel to the Mantle
Sydney Basin
Sydney Basin – Constraining Timing of Brittle Deformation and Fault Gouge
Tangaroan Eruptions - Submarine Volcanic Eruption of Highly Vesicular Pumice - Foam
Tasman Fold Belt System
Tasman Peninsula
Tectonic Landforms
Tasman region and island biota evolution – tectonic context
Tasmanides of Eastern Australia - Refining Accretionary Orogen Models
Terra Australis Orogen
Terrestrial Permafrost – the Threat from Thawing
Tidal Waterfalls - Horizontal waterfalls
Timeline of Australian Volcanoes
All Toba Tephra Occurrences across Peninsular India Belong to the 75,000 Yr B.P. Eruption
Toba Eruption 74 ka BP – Direct Linking between Ice Cores from Greenland and Antarctica  
Tookoonooka Crater
Townsend Quartzite See Neoproterozoic Australia
Transform and strike-Slip Faults-Continental
Triple Junction Stability
Tweed Volcano
Uluru  - Ayre's Rock
Vaughn Springs Quartzite See Neoproterozoic Australia
Volcanic Drumbeat Seismicity – Stick-Slip Motion and Magmatic Friction Melting
Volcano-Sedimentary Record of Africa, India and Australia - Evidence of Global and Local Sea Level and Continental Freeboard Changes
The Warrumbungles
The West Antarctic Ice Shelf warming from beneath
Western Gondwana Craton – Modification by Plume-Lithosphere Interaction
Westward Subduction Beneath the Australian East Coast
Wilson's Bluff Limestone - also
Western Tethys – Glacial Dropstones during the Late Aptian-Early Albian Cold Snap – Palaeoclimate and Palaeogeographic Implications for the Mid-Cretaceous
A Review of Wilson Cycle Plate Margins – Role in Continental Breakup Along Sutures for Plumes
Wolfe Creek Crater
Wylie Scarp - Nullarbor Plain
Yilgarn Craton
Yilgarn Craton – Structure of Detrital Zircon Within about 3 Ga Metasedimentary Rocks: Elucidation of Hadean Source Terranes by Analysis of Principal Components
Southern Yilgarn Craton - Aeolian Influence on Landforms and Soils, Southwestern Australia

The Video Across Australia visits many of the places of geological interest on this site.


  1. Australia Through Time
  2. Australia in time and space
  3. Earth Science Australia
  4. Shields Up: Magnetized Rocks Push Back Origin of Earth's Magnetic Field
  5. Tectonic Evolution of Proterozoic Australia
  6. The Building Blocks of a Continent
  7. New theory for what drives plate tectonics
  8. Northern Rivers Geology

Sources & Further reading

  1. The Video Across Australia visits many of the places of geological interest on this site.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 27/10/2020



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