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Volcanic Eruptions in Australia I
IS AUSTRALIA IN DANGER ?
Professor David, . Department of Geology at Sydney University, says: "As regards the question whether, at a time when most of the sensitive spots of the earth have been affect- ed by either earthquake shocks or volcanic eruptions, and part of this continent is likely in thc near future to be similarly affected, I am not inclined td think it is. I may state that tho main volcanic zone which encircles the Pacific used to run along, or close to, thc south-eastern and eastern coast of Australia, where there are enormous extinct craters, . and volcanic necks and dykes which attest its former pre- sence. It is probable, from the fact that thc complete skeleton of a dingo has been found under one of theso volcanoes in Victoria (on the assumption that the dingo was in-
troduced into Australia by man) j that early aboriginal man in Aus- tralia was contemporaneous with the latest of theso eruptions. Tliis vol- cano is that at Tower Hill, near Warrnambool.
"As far as is known, however, there is no legend among the abor- igines in New South Wales on Queens- land of cither having ever witnessed volcanic eruptions in those portions of Australia, and thc geological evi- dence is in favour of volcanic activ- ity having become extinct in New South Wales and Queensland at a somewhat earlier date than it did in Victoria and South Australia. As volcanic eruptions arc almost always preceded ly severe earthquake shocks it is unlikely that any of the old volcanoes of the eastern coast of Australia will break into eruption without, such premonitory symptoms. At présent' New South Wales is visit- ed from time to time by earth- quake shocks, mostly of a mild character, which appear to bc con- nected with slight upward or down- ward movements of the earth's crust, following thc axis of our main di- viding range, and related, in the vicinity of Gabo Island, with a downward movement of thc earth's crust which is taking place near Bass' Strait. These earthquake shocks arc occasionally experienced at Coonia, at Gundagai, at Yass, and, quite lately, at the Jenolan
ProfcssDr David concluded by say- ing that, while science has not yet reached that stage of advancement at which an absolutely accurate pre- diction could be made, he thought that, unless such shocks of earth- quake became very severe, it was extremely unlikely that there would bc any danger of a volcanic outburst in the near future in this part, or
any part, of Australia.