East Australia Hotspot

The East Australia hotspot is a volcanic hotspot that forces magma up at weak spots in the Indo-Australian Plate to form volcanoes in Eastern Australia. There have been no eruptions in Australia during historic times. It does not produce a single chain of volcanoes like the Hawaiian Islands. Tweed Volcano in New South Wales is a large shield volcano that was formed by the hotspot about 23 million years ago and has one of the biggest erosion calderas in the world. The most recent eruptions were about 5,000 years ago and formed the volcanoes Mount Schank, Mount Gambier and Mount Napier in the Newer Volcanics Province.

Unlike most hotspots, the East Australia hotspot has explosive eruptions, as well as the runny lava flows of the Hawaii hotspot, the Iceland hotspot and the RĂ©union hotspot. The hotspot is explosive because basaltic magma interacts with groundwater in aquifers below the surface producing violent phreatomagmatic eruptions.

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