Yilgarn Craton – Ancient Landscape

The Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia is one of the most ancient landscapes preserved anywhere on Earth. It is where most of our trips take place.

The Yilgarn Plateau is a craton, one of the original masses of rock that rose out of the sea in the Late Archaean, about 2700 mya to form the original landmass of Australia. At this time the eastern part of Australia had yet to form. Yilgarnia is the name given to the land surface of the Yilgarn Craton.

The 65,000 km2 of the Yilgarn Craton lies in the southern part of Western Australia, from Meekatharra and Wiluna in the north to the south coast and from Yamarna and Balladonia in the east to just short of the west coast. The Darling Scarp forms a clear-cut line that separates it from the much younger Swan Coastal Plain along its western edge. The Darling Scarp is the edge of the rift formed at the beginning of the separation of India from Australia, which preceded the separation of Australia from the present continent of Antarctica about 45 million years ago during the break up of Gondwana.

The Yilgarn Block has not been submerged since it rose out of the sea almost 3000 million years ago. It was one of the blocks of crust, cratons, which were later joined together to form the present continent of Australia, at a much later date.


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