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Ancient Australian Landscapes

by C.R. Twidale

Ancient Australian Landscapes

The evolution of landscapes

 

How ancient are Australia's ancient landscapes? Received geomorphological wisdom has it that they can be, at most, only a few tens of millions of years old. However, field evidence suggests that some parts of the Australian landscape are much older, so much older that dinosaurs roamed the land.

 

This is not to suggest that such surfaces have not suffered minor modification since their formation, but they are still recognisable for what they were: Kakadu was a dissected plateau and there was a Gawler Ranges 120-130 million years ago Uluru was a low hill about 70 million years ago; Flinders Ranges was a region of ridge and valley topography about 60 million years ago. The remnants of high plains now evident in the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia and in many parts of the Eastern Uplands were already in existence more than 100 million years ago.

 

These conclusions are at odds with conventional theories of landscape evolution. They change the way we look at scenery. In Ancient Australian Landscapes these surfaces are described on a regional basis. How the surfaces have been dated is explained. Brief biographies of some of those who pioneered their recognition and dating accompany several chapters and sections. Factors favouring the persistence of the surfaces are suggested and some of the implications for general theory are discussed. A glossary and substantial reference list are provided for those who wish to pursue further detail.

Soft laminated cover. Colour and B/W images & illustrations. 144 pages. approx. 286mm X 211mm. (2007) ISBN: 9781877058448. RRP $39.95

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