Deep roots in the geology of Australia revealed

Deep roots in the geology of Australia revealed

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A new study has shown for the first time how Australia’s rich geological history is reflected deep beneath the earth’s surface.

The author of the study, Dr. Caroline Eakin of The Australian National University (ANU), said the Australian landmass is made up of various building blocks that fused together over 1.3 billion years ago.

“Australia is an old, stable continent,” said Dr. Eakin.

“Australia’s various building blocks are reflected on the earth’s surface, but it has been unclear to what depth these geological differences would be reflected beneath the earth’s crust.”

Dr. Eakin used observations of scattered surface waves — known as Quasi-Love waves — created by distant earthquakes to study Australia’s geological composition.

“These Quasi-Love waves show boundaries deep within and around the Australian continent that correspond to the same tectonic boundaries seen on the surface,” said Dr. Eakin.

“This suggests that this kind of geological feature is preserved for billions of years.”

According to Dr. Eakin indicates this new information about what is happening 100-200 kilometers below the earth’s surface that the deeper part of our continent is as geologically diverse as the crust.

It is the most detailed analysis of this type of data in Australia to date, taking into account over 2000 earthquake surveys made on seismometers across the Australian continent.

The study has been published in Communication Soil and environment.


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More information:
Caroline M. Eakin, Quasi-Love Wave Distribution Reveals Australia’s Tectonic History and Its Margins Reflected by Mantle Anisotropy, Communication Soil and environment (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s43247-021-00276-7

Provided by Australian National University

Citation: Deep Roots in Australia’s Geology Revealed (2021, October 8) Retrieved October 8, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-deep-roots-australia-geology-revealed.html

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