Greenstones – Victoria’s oldest rocks

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Animation of underwater volcanoes.
Image: Mats Bjorklund, Magipics
Source: Museum Victoria

Greenstone from Phillip Island in Victoria.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Greenstone Pebbles on the beach at Phillip Island in Victoria.
Image: Dermot Henry
Source: Museum Victoria


Greenstones are ancient rocks formed from lavas erupted by underwater volcanoes. Over hundreds of millions of years the rocks were buried and compressed during massive earth movements that built Victoria’s geological foundations. Minerals that formed when the rocks were buried are often dark green, so geologists call them ‘greenstones’. The history of the rocks can be traced by studying these minerals and their textures.


Greenstones map

The distribution of Cambrian volcanic rocks including greenstones.


Other objects from the Cambrian

RedlichiaArchaeocyathidsAnomalocarisWiwaxiaDookie mineralsSedimentary rocks