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The Kerguelen Plateau is an underwater volcanic large igneous province in the Indian Ocean. It lies about 3,000 km to the southwest of Australia and is nearly three times the size of Japan. The plateau extends for more than 2,200 km in a northwest-southeast direction and lies in deep water. The plateau was produced by the Kerguelen hotspot, starting with or following the breakup of Gondwanaland about 130 Mya. There is a small portion of the plateau that breaks sea level, forming the Kerguelen Islands, Heard Island and the McDonald Islands.
In 1999, drilling by the JOIDES Resolution research vessel in the Indian Ocean discovered evidence  that a large island, the Kerguelen Plateau, was submerged about 20 million years ago by rising sea levels. Samples showed pollen and fragments of wood in a 90 million-year-old sediment. This might lead one to expect similarity of dinosaur fossil evidence and will help to understand the breakup of the Indian and Australian land masses;
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. During the late 1700s, many explorers were searching for a legendary large southern continent they called "Terra Australis," which they believed to exist and which they were anxious to claim and colonize for the country for which they sailed.
Yves Joseph de Kerguélen-Trémarac discovered La France Australe (today's Kerguelen island chain in the Indian Ocean just north of Antarctica) in 1772, and in that same year claimed this 'southern motherland' for France.
Upon returning home, his eloquent rhapsodizing to the reigning French monarch about Kerguélen's superb agricultural and mineral potential resulted in the king dispatching three ships and 700 men to colonize Kerguelen in 1773. However, 699 pairs of eyes couldn't lie. They saw only the tiny volcanic islands, but no massive continent as Kerguélen had claimed. (They had no way of knowing then that a small continent lay about two kilometers below the volcanic islands, and it would be 1999 before the land mass would be discovered by Coffin, Frey and other scientists on the research team.) Upon Kerguélen's second homecoming to France, he was court-martialed, sentenced to 20 years in prison, and dismissed from the Navy for exaggerating his findings.
Originally posted by sinema
Thanks hanslume, very interesting.
Be very difficult to obtain fossil evidence as it is 2km below the sea but it would be very interesting what creatures lived on the landmass before it submerged.