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Macquarie Island
Site number:
Type of site: Natural
Date of Inscription: 1997
Location: Australia, State of Tasmania
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Description: Midway between Australia and the Antarctic (1,500 km south-east of Tasmania), lies the 34km long x 5km wide Macquarie Island. At the meeting of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate with the Pacific plate, a raised crest of the undersea Macquarie Ridge is exposed; a ridge that gives us present-day Macquarie Island. The site is the only known area on earth where rocks from the earth's mantle (6km below the ocean floor) are actively being exposed above sea-level; a phenomenon of major geoconservation significance. The exposed rocks are examples of pillow basalts and other extrusive rocks. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Macquarie Island lies in the southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, about half-way between Australia and Antarctica. Politically, it has formed part of the Australian state of Tasmania since 1900 and became a Tasmanian State Reserve in 1978. In 1997 it became a world heritage site. It was a part of Esperance Municipality until 1993, when the municipality was merged with other municipalities to Huon Valley. The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) maintains a permanent base on the island. The base's residents, the island's only inhabitants, range in numbers from 20 to 40 people throughout the year. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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