Cosmogenic mega-tsunami in the Australia region: are they supported by Aboriginal and Maori legends?
Published:January 01, 2007
Mega-tsunami have affected much of the coastline of Australia over the past millennium. Such catastrophic waves have left an imprint consisting predominently of bedrock sculpturing of the rocky coastline and deposition of marine sediments to elevations reaching 130 m above sea level. One of the largest of these events occurred in eastern Australia in the fifteenth century. This event may be related to the Mahuika impact crater found at 48.3 S, 166.4 E on the continental shelf 250 km south of New Zealand. A comet at least 500 m in diameter formed the crater. Maori and Aboriginal legends allude to significant cosmogenic events in the region, while Aboriginal legends about tsunami are common along the eastern Australian coast. Evidence for legends that could describe the impact of a cosmogenic tsunami also exists in NW Australia. Here geological evidence of a single mega-tsunami as recent as in the seventeenth century covers 1500 km of coastline. We term this event Wandjina after the artwork related to the legends. More attention should be given to oral traditions in searching globally for other sites of significant mega-tsunami.
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Myth and Geology
This book is the first peer-reviewed collection of papers focusing on the potential of myth storylines to yield data and lessons that are of value to the geological sciences. Building on the nascent discipline of geomythology, scientists and scholars from a variety of disciplines have contributed to this volume. The geological hazards (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and cosmic impacts) that have given rise to myths are considered, as are the sacred and cultural values associated with rocks, fossils, geological formations and landscapes. There are also discussions about the historical and literary perspectives of geomythology. Regional coverage includes Europe and the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Cameroon, India, Australia, Japan, Pacific islands, South America and North America. Myth and Geology challenges the widespread notion that myths are fictitious or otherwise lacking in value for the physical sciences.