Monash University researchers have discovered three new volcanoes near Hamilton, in the state’s south-west, which they say could yet deliver a blast from the past.

The volcanoes are in the heart of the Newer Volcanic Precinct, a still active 19,000 square kilometer volcanic field spanning Victoria and South Australia.

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Three new volcanoes were discovered in Australia in July 2014. Photo: Google earth

The three new volcanoes were located by combining site visits with analyzed satellite photographs, detailed NASA topography models and the distribution of magnetic minerals in rocks.

Scientists say there may be other undiscovered volcanoes in the NVP, and eruptions in the future.

A bit of history about Victoria’s volcanism

‘Victoria’s latest episode of volcanism began about eight million years ago, and has helped to shape the landscape. The volcanic deposits, including basalt, are among the youngest rocks in Victoria but most people know little about them. Though it’s been more than 5000 years since the last volcanic eruption in Australia, it’s important that we understand where, when and how these volcanoes erupted. The province is still active, so there may be future eruptions.

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