Kerguelen Plateau

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In light blue, the Kerguelen Plateau emerging from the seabed (dark blue)

The Kerguelen Plateau is an underwater plateau of volcanic origin. It is in the southern Indian Ocean near Australia. It is an underwater microcontinent: it is a million square kilometres in size, about three times the surface area of Japan.

The plateau was formed by the hot-spot of Kerguelen. This began after the rupture of Gondwana about 130 million years ago. The plateau emerges on the oceanic surface forming the Kerguelen Islands (a French territory) and Heard Island and McDonald Islands (an Australian territory). Vulcanism is still seen on-and-off.