News & information on Antarctica & the Southern Ocean

Reconstructing Gondwana - when Antarctica and Australia were joined

geological correlations between Antarctica and Australia Photo: Scientific Report / Australian Antarctic Division

Bedrock buried under kilometres of ice in a remote part of Antarctica has revealed some of its secrets for the first time in a new study by scientists from IMAS and Macquarie University.

Wilkes Land in East Antarctica remains one of the last geological exploration frontiers on Earth.

Yet bedrock in this region is important as it underlies some of East Antarctica’s most vulnerable ice sheets.

Although known to correlate with the geology of southern Australia, which Antarctica was once connected to as part of Gondwana, the region’s geology has been masked by ice for millions of years.

Furthermore, the equivalent rocks in Australia are buried under the Nullarbor Desert in one of the least understood geological regions on the Australian mainland.

But a new study led by IMAS PhD student Alessandro Maritati, supported through the Australian Research Council funded Antarctic Gateway Partnership and published in Scientific Reports, has provided important new insights.

The study combined new data on rocks from remote Antarctic outcrops with magnetic data collected from the air.

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