Macquarie University
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Magma ascent in Australian intraplate volcanoes

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posted on 2023-11-08, 04:01 authored by Thomas Robert England

North-east and South-east Australia host basaltic volcanic fields which are still considered active. Despite this, little work has been undertaken to estimate magma ascent rates and subsequent warning times associated with any future eruptions. A volcanological, petrological and textural study was conducted on Mount Quincan, one of the youngest known volcanoes in the Atherton Basalt Province. This study focused on assessing the interaction of mantle xenoliths with the host magma to calculate magma ascent rates using two differing approaches: 1) A study of xenolith morphology and settling rate. 2) An analysis of the dissolution reaction of orthopyroxene with the host magma. The volcanological study identified an abundance of mantle xenoliths throughout the stratigraphy. The study of settling rates indicated ascent rates up to 2.24 ms-1 (a minimum ascent time of 6 hours from 50 km depth). The study of orthopyroxene dissolution suggests ascent rates of up to 64 ms-1 / 13 minutes ascent duration from 50 km depth. Both methods indicate high ascent rates and low warning time for any future eruptions. This combination of rapid ascent and the proximity of the volcanic fields to population centres suggests a greater focus should be placed on volcanic hazard mitigation in Australia. 


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Methods -- Chapter 3: Results -- Chapter 4: Discussion -- Chapter 5: Conclusion and Future Directions -- References -- Appendices

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Master of Research

Department, Centre or School

School of Natural Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Heather Handley

Additional Supervisor 1

Stephen Foley


Copyright: The Author Copyright disclaimer:






75 pages

Former Identifiers

AMIS ID: 258348

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