The study revealed the structure of the ancient high and dry coral reefs in the Nullarbor Plain

كشفت الدراسة عن هيكل الشعاب المرجانية القديمة المرتفعة والجافة في سهل نولاربور

Nullarbor Plain site maps: Satellite image (A), Shuttle Radar Mission Digital Elevation Model (SRTM DEM) image (B) and geological map (C). The rectangle in B shows the location of Figure 2. Geology based on SurfaceGeology of Australia, 1:1 000000 Scale, 2012 Edition (Geoscience Australia, 2012). AL = Oligocene-Miocene abracuri limestone; C = Colovium deposit and residue; CS = Miocene Colville Sandstone; D = dunes. NL = Miocene Nullarbor limestone; NLm = Mullamullang member of Nullarbor limestone; RC = Pleocene – Pleistocene Rho Calcarenite; RSC = residual sediment and lime; SSM = Holocene Semaphore Sand is a member of the St Kilda Formation. attributed to him: Earth’s surface and terrain operations (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / esp.5459

Curtin University researchers and international collaborators using advanced satellite imagery have discovered an ancient reef-like landform “hidden” in plain sight on the Nullarbor Plain, which has been preserved for millions of years since it first formed when the plain was underwater.

The discovery further challenges the understanding that the Nullarbor Plain, which emerged from the ocean about 14 million years ago, was essentially flat and featureless, said research author Dr Milo Parham, of the Timescales of Mineral Systems Group at the Curtin School of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

“Unlike many parts of the world, large swaths of the Nullarbor Plain have remained largely unchanged due to processes of weathering and erosion over millions of years, making it a unique geological plate that records ancient history in fascinating ways,” said Dr. Parham.

“Through high-resolution satellite images and field work, we have identified the clear remains of the original seafloor structure preserved for millions of years, the first of this type of terrain discovered in the Nullarbor Plain.

“The ring-shaped ‘mound’ cannot be explained by extraterrestrial impact or any known malformation processes but preserves the original microbial textures and features typically found in the modern Great Barrier Reef.”

Dr Barham said the discovery was due to increased access to new high-resolution satellite images, which revealed hidden features that represent a surprising history of ecological evolution on the Nullarbor Plain.

“Evidence of long-disappeared river channels, as well as dune systems imprinted directly into the limestone, preserve an archive of ancient landscapes and even a record of prevailing winds. And it’s not just the landscape. Isolated cave columns permeate Nullarbor reserve,” Dr. Parham said. simple remains of Tasmanian tigers and complete skeletons of long-extinct wonders such as Thelacoleo, the marsupial lion.”

“On the surface, due to relatively stable conditions, the Nullarbor Plain has retained large amounts of meteorites, allowing us to go back in time to the origins of our solar system.

“These features coincide with millions of years natural views The feature we have now identified, makes the Nullarbor Plain a land effectively forgotten by time and allows for a fascinating deeper understanding of Earth’s history. “

Dr. Barham is affiliated with the Institute of Earth Science Research (TIGeR), Curtin’s leading Earth Science Research Institute.

Titled “An Opaque Annular Landform on a Planar Karst Surface from the Miocene, Nullarbor Plain, Australia” and will be published in Earth’s surface and terrain operationsThe research was led by Dr. Matej Lebar of the Anton Milek Geographical Institute at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

New technology unlocks Earth’s ancient history from grains of sand

more information:
Matej Lebar et al., An enigmatic annular landform on a Miocene planar karst surface, Nullarbor Plain, Australia, Earth’s surface and terrain operations (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / esp.5459

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