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South Australia

Flinders Ranges

  • 650 million years ago, this region was close to the equator and thus tropical, but it seems these ranges then were also covered by ice glaciers! This evidence has been used to argue that the whole planet was once covered in ice sheets up to several kilometres thick — a scenario called Snowball Earth. Global glaciation was thawed by a sudden reversal to warmer temperatures about 635 million years ago which is marked in the Flinders Ranges by the sharp transition from glacial sediments to dolomite, a distinctive sedimentary rock that formed in a warm and shallow sea.
  • quartzite rocks contain Ediacaran fossils, the oldest soft-bodied organisms ever discovered.
  • The Ediacaran Period is named after the hills that contain these fossils, and is indicated by a bronze plaque known as a golden spike — the only one in the Southern Hemisphere.


  • interesting historic copper mining town, well worth a visit for photographers
  • from 1845-1867, the Burra Mine was an ungerground mine worked to 165m deep and effectively saved the fledgling Sth Australian Govt from bankrupcy - between 1845-1877 it produced 50,000 tonnes of copper metal
  • purchase a Burra Passport and you gain entry for self-guided tours of many of the town's historic buildings, including the gaol and some museums
  • book accommodation through the Burra Tourism website as most are not listed on or the like
  • Thames Street cottages 1846 - among the earliest domestic buildings still in occupation in SA
  • Powder Magazine 1847
  • Police Lockup and Stables 1847
  • Burra Smelter 1849
  • Smelters' Home Hotel 1849
  • Paxton Square cottages 1849
  • Miners Dugouts 1850
  • Tiver's Row miners' cottages 1856
  • Redruth Gaol 1856
  • Hampton township 1857 - ruins now after abandoned in 1920's - modeled on an English village
  • Morphett's Enginehouse Museum 1858
  • Bon Accord Mine Museum 1859
  • Kooringa Telegraph Station 1861
  • Burra Mine Site 1870
  • Unicorn Brewery Cellars 1873
  • Burra Town Hall 1874
  • Bon Accord Hotel 1874
  • Royal Exchange Hotel 1880
  • Burra Railway Station 1883

Lake Acraman

Olympic Dam - the largest super volcano on earth

  • This region contains a lava field that stretches for 500 kilometres in diameter, with individual eruptions up to 300 metres thick and a total lava volume as high as 500,000 cubic kilometres.
  • That's enough to fill Sydney Harbour a million times over.
  • What's even more remarkable is that the piping-hot lava reached temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius and erupted from the volcano almost instantaneously — most likely from large fissures in the crust that burst open nearly 1600 million years ago.
  • the most extreme consequence of this geological phenomenon was that it also produced the world's largest hydrothermal deposit, a spectacular ore system filled with huge reserves (9 billion tonnes of ore) of copper, uranium, silver and gold.

Murray River system

  • produced some of the deepest submarine canyons ever found: deep beneath sea level near Kangaroo Island, reaching lengths of 80 kilometres and depths of over 5,000 metres — greater than twice the height of Mt Kosciusko and tall enough to easily swallow Colorado's Grand Canyon whole
  • The now submarine canyons were produced when the Murray River wound its course far beyond the present coastline, when sea levels were much lower during the most recent ice age and the continental shelf was dry land.
australia/sa.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/24 09:27 by gary1

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