Oz Volcanoes
A web-based activity exploring recent volcanic activity in Australia

Introduction | Task | Process and Resources | Conclusion |


There are only two active volcanos on Australian Territory. Big Ben is located on Heard Island, an Australian territory in the southern Indian Ocean. Big Ben has erupted as recently as 2001. McDonald Island is located 40 km to the west of Heard Island volcano, in the sub Antarctic. The island doubled in size between 1980 and 2001, due to volcanic activity.

Discover more about Big Ben from these web sites:

Within Australia, the last eruption of an active volcano was about 5000 years ago in the area around Mt Gambier in South Australia. There are many areas in Australia which have experienced volcanic activity in geologically recent times.


  1. Your first task is to select four areas in Australia that have experienced recent (less than 40 million years) volcanic activity.
  2. Your second task is to prepare a brochure or web page on one area in Australia that has had recent volcanic activity, highlighting its scenic features and origins.


  • the area,
  • the nature of the volcanic activity,
  • when the volcanic activity took place,
  • the current landforms resulting from the volcanic activity
  • and any other evidence of the volcanic activity.
  • Besides the web sites listed below, some useful references are:

    Process and resources

    Visit these webs sites to complete the tasks. It may not be necessary to access all the web sites. You may find a good answer by visiting one site, and other resources such as photographs and sketches at some of the alternate web sites. You may find additional information, explanations and different points of view, by visiting a number of the sites. Be sure to read all the questions before starting because you may find the answer to later questions in some of the web sites for earlier questions.

    1. On a map of Australia, mark and name locations of recent volcanic activity. Select four volcanic areas to explore in more detail and use these links to help you complete your task. You can also use the links below to specific volcanic areas.


    Specific Volcanic Areas

    1. Undara
    2. Glass House Mountains
    3. Bunya Mountains

    5. Tweed Volcanoes - Mt Warning



    5. Warrumbungles

    6. Organ Pipes, Keilor Victoria


    7. Camperdown, Victoria


    8. Mt Eccles


    9. Tower Hill

    10. Mt Schank

    11. Mt Gambier

    2. Use the links below to check the meaning of terms so you can accurately describe the types of volcanic activity and features of your four volcanic areas.

    4. Describe the distribution of recent volcanic activity in Australia. Where did it occur? Where is the most recent activity? Why are there no active volcanoes now? Use the links below to give an explanation of the location and age of the recent eruptions.


    This activity has given you an inroduction to volcanoes adn volcanic activity in Australia. You might like to look at some active volcanoes in other parts of the world or build some models of volcanoes

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    Last Update: Monday, 30-Apr-2012 14:52:30 AEST
    URL: http://science.uniserve.edu.au /school/quests/ozvolcanoes.html