Brisbane tuff

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Illustrating the many natural colours of Brisbane tuff, St Mary's Anglican Church, Kangaroo Point, 2016

Brisbane tuff is a type of rock,[1] formed as a result of a volcanic eruption. As the name suggests, it is a type of tuff found in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[2]

Brisbane tuff is a form of welded ignimbrite.[3] It is found in various parts of Brisbane and was quarried extensively in the early history of Brisbane at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and the (now) Windsor Town Quarry Park for use in construction of Brisbane's earliest buildings.

Brisbane tuff comes in a variety of colours: pink, green, blue (grey) and purple.[4] The different colours are due to the extent of oxidation of iron and manganese.[5]

It is often incorrectly described as porphyry.[5]


Brisbane tuff has been used in the construction of the following Brisbane buildings, many of them now heritage-listed:


The extent and hardness of Brisbane tuff deposits has often been a barrier to building tunnels in Brisbane due to its 100–150 megapascal strength. However, since 2007, advances in tunnel-boring equipment with tungsten carbide cutting heads has enabled a number of major tunnels to be constructed in Brisbane, e.g. the Clem Jones Tunnel which passes through the Kangaroo Point area.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Briggs, Cecily (1929). "The Brisbane tuff". Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland. 40 (12): 147–164 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  2. ^ Richards,, H. C. and Bryan, W. H. (1933). "The problem of Brisbane tuff" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland. 45 (11): 50–65 – via UQ eSpace.
  3. ^ "Brisbane Tuff". Windsor and Districts Historical Society. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Products". Queensland Heritage Masonry Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b Thomas, Glenn S. (1999). "Porphyry, tuff and loose specifications" (PDF). Landscape Australia. 21 (2): 124–126. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  6. ^ Burke, Edmund (15 July 2007). "Tuff rock? No problem". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 3 June 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to Brisbane tuff at Wikimedia Commons