The Toomba lava flows, NW of Charters Towers, are estimated to have occurred between 100 000 and 13 000 years ago, they originated from a low shield volcano to the west. These flows spread across the countryside trapping pockets of the original surface, blocking streams resulting in the formation of lakes and springs. Today researchers and students in earth sciences and biogeography can be found coring the sediments and trying to understand the patterns of deposition in these lakes, as well as the relationships between the various flows. This includes older basalt flows originating to the east of the Toomba flows which filled the old course of the Burdekin River. This complex geomorphological area supports extensive and complex dry rainforest communities.