Geology of Victoria

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Victoria is an Australian state, situated at the southern end of the Great Dividing Range, which stretches along the east coast and terminates near Ballarat. Nearby and fairly distinct, the Grampians may be considered to be the final part of the range. The highest mountains in Victoria (just under 2000 m) are the Victorian Alps, located in the northeastern area.

There was an area of extensive volcanism in central and southwestern Victoria, where there are numerous extinct volcanoes and volcanic lakes. The Western Victorian Volcanic Plains are the third largest in the world after the Deccan in western India, and the Snake River Plateau in Idaho, United States. The most recent volcanic activity was at Mt Eccles, which last erupted a few thousand years ago. Large basaltic lava flows are present on the western side of Melbourne and in the southwest of the state. Central and western Victoria comprise world-class vein-hosted gold deposits, hosted mostly in the extensive Ordovician turbidites. The southeast of the state has enormous brown coal fields.

The low flat northwest of the state that borders the Murray River was once the bed of an ancient sea and the land is much afflicted with salinity. Saline drainage from Victorian land is one of the sources of the salinity problem in the Murray-Darling River system. Commercial salt evaporation is undertaken near Swan Hill.


Neoproterozoic to early Carboniferous

This period is covered by the recent Geological Survey of Victoria publication The Tasman Fold Belt System in Victoria. The sequence of events associated with the building of southeastern Australia reveals that mineralization and magmatic processes are intimately linked with the tectonic development of the region. The history is dominated by east-west compression of predominantly oceanic sedimentary and igneous rocks and their resultant folding, faulting and uplift. Recently, it has become increasingly apparent that major north-south movements have also been involved in constructing eastern Australia.

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