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Minerals and Fossils from the Warrumbungle Range
Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia
A short history of our geological past, from 255 million years ago to the present.
255 MA  >      At this time the local area was covered by huge coal swamps, fed by                         water from melting glaziers and snow from the massive mountain range                         to the north of here.
250 MA  >      This was the time when the great Permian Extinction happened, possibly  
                        caused by a huge meteor impact in the area that is Antarctica today.
200 MA  >      The eruption of the Garrawilla Volcano, created a massive pile of                         pyroclastic debris and lava flows over a very large area. Here we find the
                        rare Zeolite crystals that are on display in the museum.
150 MA  >      The Talbragar Fish Beds. A small lake in the southern part ot our area                         was buried by a massive ash fall, probably from one of the eruptions of
                        the Garrawilla volcano. These were the first Jurassic fossils discovered                         in Australia.
120 MA  >      The area was covered by the "Great Jurassic Sea", a very large body of                         salt water, which left sandstone deposits up to 600 metres thick (the
                        Pilliga Beds). The Garravilla volcano formed an island or peninsula in
                        this marine enviroment.
  17 MA  >      The Warrumbungle volcano starts to erupt through a thick layer of                         sandstone. The lava of these early eruptions was very thick and quickly
                        plugged up the vents, resulting in a large number of "Mini Volcanos".
                        The later eruptions, about 14 MA, consisted of very thin lava, which                         flowed over a large area, creating a Shield Volcano.
15000 years  >  The Australian megafauna became extinct about this time, possibly
                        due to the climate becoming very dry over a long period. They were                         represented in this area by the giant Diproton Optatum, a marsupial
                        elephant and the giant kangaroo Procoptodon and others.
                                                   MA = Million years ago