Dormant volcanoes underneath Melbourne could erupt 'at any second’ - and send lava into city streets

·Freelance Writer
<em>Lava could flow through the streets of Melbourne if a string of volcanoes sitting under it erupt (Wikipedia)</em>
Lava could flow through the streets of Melbourne if a string of volcanoes sitting under it erupt (Wikipedia)

A series of dormant volcanoes ominously lying underneath Melbourne could erupt at any given moment, according to one expert.

The Newer Volcanic Province contains some 400 volcanoes that stretch from Melbourne to Mount Gambier in southern Australia.

Volcanologist Doctor Rebecca Carey warned that locals should prepare for the worst – even though the last eruption was around 5,000 years ago.

Dr Carey told 60 Minutes: ‘From what we can establish now, we’re in a long phase of dormancy and that there is the possibility of an eruption in this province.’

<em>Maar volcanoes like South Australia’s Mount Gambier have the potential to be highly explosive (Rex)</em>
Maar volcanoes like South Australia’s Mount Gambier have the potential to be highly explosive (Rex)

If the volcanoes were to erupt, lava would be sent flowing into the city streets, with unprepared locals being put at severe risk.

Dr Carey, who is currently studying the active Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, added: ‘The impacts will of course be the same as here in Kilauea, where potentially properties are inundated with lava or the products of explosive eruption.

‘But I think the impacts will be related to ash and aviation… that is a scenario that could happen in Melbourne.

‘The manifestation of eruptive activity that we are seeing at Kilauea – low level explosions, lava ocean entry, lava flows – is typical of the type of eruptive activity that’s occurred in that [Victorian] province.’

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Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake is a maar volcano – one that has the potential to be incredibly explosive.

Monash University volcanology lecturer Jozua van Otterloo told ABC: ’The groundwater just sits there, and as it mixes with that groundwater it becomes very, very explosive and it just excavates a big hole in the ground, which gives us that big crater, which we call a maar.’

Without any possible indication of when the explosions may occur, residents should be cautious of their surroundings and have an action plan, to prepare for the worst.

Residents have been warned to be aware of gentle tremors, which could be the first signs of a volcano about to erupt.


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