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Fourth echelon

50 million-year-old volcano cluster found of Australian coast

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SYDNEY, July 13 (UPI) -- A team of Australian scientists and students aboard a ocean research vessel called Investigator have discovered a series of extinct underwater volcanoes they believe to be more than 50 million years old.

The ancient volcanoes are located 155 miles off the coast of Sydney, Australia. The newly discovered volcanic cluster lies more than three miles beneath the ocean's surface, with the largest of the four calderas rising more than 2,000 feet off the ocean floor and boasting a rim nearly a mile wide.

"They tell us part of the story of how New Zealand and Australia separated around 40-80 million years ago and they'll now help scientists target future exploration of the sea floor to unlock the secrets of the Earth's crust," Richard Arculus, a professor at the Australian National University and one of the world's leading volcano experts, said of the volcanoes.



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