Blue Lake at South Australia's Mt Gambier. Mt Gambier is one of four shield volcanoes in the Newer Volcanics province in Australia. Photo by Margaret Bee http://www.flickr.com/photos/margaretb174/

A little distraction from Kelly’s posts about Antarctica.

Recent research conducted at RSES has used some new techniques to unearth Australia’s underground past. Nick Rawlinson from the school used seismometers placed around the country to image the plate underneath South East Australia.

Getting information about the tectonic past of this area has been very difficult in the past because it is covered by large, thin cover features such as the Murray-Darling Basin. Rawlinson’s team got around this by placing seismometers in different locations around the country and then measuring ground motions from as far away as Japan, Fiji and Indonesia. It’s a pretty cool technique.

What the researchers found was pretty interesting as well. In particular, they found a pronounced anomaly extending at least 150km beneath western Victoria which points to elevated temperatures beneath an area known as the Newer Volcanics province. The region has experienced widespread eruptions until only recently and it is likely that this ‘hot-spot’ is responsible for those episodes.

If you’re interested in reading more about this innovative research, check out the ANU News Story here: http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=13391