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Exhibitions > underworld by John Jackson 210511

Pacific Superplume


Pacific Superplume

The concept for this painting began evolving in 2002 when the artist first moved to Queensland’s Scenic Rim. It has been one of his deepest passions to paint not just the geology of the Scenic Rim but the patterns, designs and personalities of the rocks that lie between ground level and the earth’s mantle (a depth of about 35 kilometres). This artwork has involved extensive research and discussion with colleagues in order to arrive at a vision that represents the best knowledge we have to date.


At the bottom, sitting in a ground-mass of dark green (representing the earth’s mantel) are the pale green olivine (peridot) crystals. These crystals can be seen ascending in the plumes of magma above. The horizontal top of the dark green area represents the Moho that is thought to be around 35 kilometres deep. The next zone above the dark green is the red “platy” region which is thought to be the deepest crustal rocks in a zone of distributed shear.


The next deepest rocks in the crust are shown as red pillows and represent a zone of concentrated shear. Above that can be seen the tear drop-shaped blobs where rock is plastic and neither liquid nor solid. This zone is known as the migmitite zone. Immediately above this zone, is the thin, narrow, almost horizontal zone of mylonitic shear.  It is located in this artwork just above the largest red and yellow, magma plume.


Next come the zigzag wedges that represent continental ocean floor lavas and floor sediments that have been under-thrust beneath the continent. Above this zigzag folding are the undulating folds of continental margin sediments. These were deformed during the under-thrusting of the zigzag folds.


Together the zig-zag folds and the undulated folds form the basement rocks of the Scenic Rim in south east Queensland.


At the very top are the sediments or floor rocks of the Scenic Rim. These are also known as sediments of the Clarence-Morton Basin. The pinkish red and pink half circles represent the first volcanic detritus to fill the early rift valleys at the base of the Clarence-Morton Basin. Above the volcanic detritus are the yellow pebbles and sand grains that are found in many areas of the Scenic Rim, in particular in the road cuts between Boonah and Beaudesert. At the very top are the pale blue clays representing the silts and clays that in-filled the lakes in the rift valleys. Within these pale blue silts and clays can be seen an area of horizontal, dark, indigo blue. This represents the Walloon Coal Measures. These coal measures have become well known in recent times as targets for coal and methane extraction.


Dominating the whole artwork is a yellow and red, plant-like organ. This plant-like organ represents the plumes, magma chambers, magma conduits and volcanic eruptions that give majesty to Queensland’s Scenic Rim.

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