Ancient Australian Landscapes

By C. Rowland Twidale

How ancient are Australia's landscapes? The geomorphological wisdom has it that such landscapes can be - at most - only tens of millions of years old. However, field evidence suggests that some parts of the Australian landscape are much older - when dinosaurs roamed the land. This is not to suggest that such surfaces have not suffered minor modification since their formation, but they are still recognizable for what they were. Australia's Kakadu was a dissected plateau 120-130 million years ago. Uluru was a low hill about 70 million years ago, the 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. In Ancient Australian Landscapes, these surfaces are described on a regional basis. Additionally, it is explained how the surfaces have been dated. Factors favoring 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.

144 pages

Publication Date: 2/1/2007
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781877058448