Tasmania has a rich geoheritage, with a remarkable diversity of Earth features for such a small island, with rocks from all major geological periods, a vast suite of different rock types and a range of geomorphological processes which are the envy of many other parts of Australia.
Tasmania has rich karst (cave) systems, including some of the deepest and best decorated caves in the southern hemisphere, and is the Australian stronghold of Jurassic dolerite, which forms the distinctive mountains and towering sea-cliffs of eastern Tasmania.
The island is the Australian stronghold of glaciated landscapes. Much of the beauty of Tasmania's landforms can be attributed to the action of ice during previous ice ages.
The variety of rock types, landscapes, soils and land and soil forming processes are dominating influences on biodiversity, while many of the plants and animals found in Tasmania today are a legacy of the process of continental drift and the breakup of Gondwana.
Continental Drift and Gondwana
The Earth’s surface consists of constantly moving crustal plates that determine the location of the Earths' landmasses. Gondwana, the southern supercontinent, was the forbearer of the Australian continent.
The Biogeography of Tasmania
Many of the plants and animals of Tasmania have southern hemisphere distributions which are the legacy of the breakup of Gondwana. Today, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and to lesser extents, southern Africa, India and Antarctica, have many similarities in their living heritages that can be understood in terms of plate tectonics.
The geological history and changing biodiversity of the Earth, and of Tasmania in particular, are outlined, from the Precambrian to the present.
Brief introductory information explaining the meaning of geoconservation.
A look at some of the spectacular and interesting geodiversity that makes Tasmania such a beautiful island.