Mineral Sands' 500-Million-Year Journey From Antarctica To Western Australia Unearthed

A chance find on Western Australia's south coast has helped trace Australia's connection to Antarctica back hundreds of millions of years.

Scientists at Curtin University have traced the origin of mineral sands on a beach between Denmark and Walpole back to below Antarctica's ice using three different types of mineral dating.

A particular mineral, zircon, was washed to WA's Yilgarn region along a river when the continents were joined as Gondwana before eventually finding its way to Hillier Beach.

Lead author Professor Chris Kirkland and co-authors Dr Milo Barham and Dr Martin Danišík released the groundbreaking research in the geology journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters on Wednesday.

"My co-author Professor Chris Kirkland, on a student field trip near Albany, saw an interesting looking sediment on the beach," Dr Barham said.

(Image by RitaE from PixaBay)