Friday, 29 January 2016

Great Australian Bight

The Great Australian Bight is a large oceanic bight, or open bay, off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.
The Great Australian Bight was first encountered by European explorers in 1627 when a Dutch navigator François Thijssen sailed along its western margins. The coast was later first accurately charted by the English navigator Matthew Flinders in 1802, during his circumnavigation of the Australian continent. A later land-based survey was accomplished by the English explorer Edward John Eyre.

The coastline of the Great Australian Bight is characterised by cliff faces (up to 60 metres (200 ft) high), surfing beaches and rock platforms, ideal for whale-watching. This is a popular activity during the southern hemisphere winter, when increasing numbers of southern right whales migrate to the region from their summer feeding grounds in the Antarctic. The whales come to the Bight region, especially to the Head of Bight, to calve and breed, and do not feed until they return to the Antarctic. Their numbers were severely depleted by whaling, particularly during the 19th Century, but have since recovered to some extent.

The Nullarbor Plain, which borders much of the length of the Bight's coastline, is a former seabed, uplifted during the Miocene. Consisting of limestone, it is very flat, and has an arid or semi-arid climate with very little rainfall, and high summer temperatures and high evaporation rates. It has no surface drainage, but has a karst drainage system through cave formation in the underlying limestone. North of the Nullarbor lies the Great Victoria Desert, which has an internal drainage system terminating in numerous small salt lakes.
Wikipedia

There's a few lookouts across the Nullarbor which many people call into.
The photos below show what it's like.  It wasn't a clear morning as you can see...looking towards the Great Southern Ocean.














38 comments:

  1. thank for your very interesting post, your photos are always beautiful and I liked especially the # 6 !

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  2. Margaret land remonds me a desert in spaqin. The coastline is dramatic but so lovely

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  3. Very cool. Sometimes I wish I majored in Geology. (I worked in the Geology department at my university...but never switched my major over.)

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    1. Well never mind, you made the choice back then or it was made for you.

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  4. They say it really is a "tabletop" landscape and your photo of the cliffs overlooking the BIGHT sure show this up perfectly.
    You don't see scenery like that anywhere else in the World.
    It is really so inhospitable but breathtaking in majestic like
    magnitude.

    Would have been great if the whales could have been around for a display.
    No swimming in that region eh? Those big "bitties" called the "Great Whites" would soon finish the swimmer off.

    Excellent report Margaret.
    Now must check your fires updates.
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. Very flat, hence the name tabletop.
      No where to swim in that area, the Great Southern Ocean and the Bight.
      Hardly any whales for us to see, but a few days before there were about 60 apparently.
      Where you pay to see the whales, you are told if there are whales in the Bight or not, so you have the choice of going through the gate or not. It seems after being told there are not many there if any, people come back and tell the ticket lady or man off! I found that to be very weird as those people don't control the whales :)

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  5. It certainly is a spectacular piece of country and coast.

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  6. Love the wavey cliff line with some interesting looking geology too.

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    1. Sometimes you can hear the Seals down below, and there are many cliffs to see, but these days there are designated areas to view the cliffs. Many of the cliffs are not safe as they fall away, break a way..

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  7. Thanks for sharing Australia's history and geography with us. That last picture of the cliffs and coastline is breathtaking.

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    1. You are welcome Sandra.
      The coast is beautiful when you can see it.

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  8. Is bight a particularly Australian term? I don't think I have ever heard of it before.

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    1. No Jerry, it's not an Australian term at all.
      I have placed a link to most of the 'Bights' in this world if you care to read it.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bight_%28geography%29

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  9. Margaret!
    What is going on down in Tassie??? Now flooding in areas. Someone above, I suspect doesn't like you down there - ha ha.
    Oh as for the Word "BIGHT".
    It is a geographical world wide used expression.
    Here is the link:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bight_%28geography%29
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. Doing a post on the 'Bight', it will be Monday.
      Thanks for the link.
      Fire still on going. Other places floods, a bit weird have both at the same time.

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  10. So open, so empty, so beautiful.
    I love that photo of the cliffs.

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    1. Thanks River. I have other photos from a previous visit and the day was very clear.

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  11. The cliffs remind me of pictures I've seen of Dover--- That is a wonderful image. Bight is a new one on me, by the way.

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    1. Oh the White Cliffs of Dover :)
      Thank you re image.
      There are several Bights in this world..the link is here if you have time to go there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bight_%28geography%29

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  12. More stunning photos of our beautiful country. Thanks, Margaret. :)

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  13. Margaret, this is an area I'd definitely like to see. Enjoyed the map you provided and am intrigued by the location of Port Augusta.

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    1. Seems strange where Port Augusta is, quite a journey up to it and back down again..

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  14. Such an open and sparse landscape that abruptly ends with a stunning cliff face. Great photos.

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  15. The images of the coast are quite attractive.

    Kisses

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  16. Stunning coastline and such flat flat country. This is one part of Aus where I haven't been.

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