19°S 139°E Riversleigh – Queensland by Degrees

 

AT THE POINT

Police Creek and Gregory Downs-Camooweal Road to the west of Degree Confluence 19°S 139°E (Google Earth image)

Looking NorthLooking East
Looking SouthLooking West

Location: Degree Confluence 19°S 139°E is on the edge of the Barkly Tableland in western Queensland. A dirt track, which is accessible via the Gregory Downs Camooweal Road to the west, comes within less than 1 km of the confluence. The remaining distance was traversed by 4WD across country in May 2008 by an expedition of RGSQ members in May 2008. The nearest settlement is Gunpowder, approximately 87 km to the south-east (and in an adjacent degree square). Part of Lawn Hill National Park is found within Degree Square 19°S 139°E.

Landscape: Degree Confluence 19°S 139°E is located in a locally flat area, with moderate hilly terrain surrounding the site. Nearby hilltop elevation rises to approximately 210 m (Natmap Raster, 250K Maps). The ground surface is primarily bare soil of a red-brown colour, and tussocky grass. Small termite mounds are also visibile. The vegetation community is woodland.

The geological features of the surrounding area are complex and diverse. The confluence itself is located on Tertiary-Quaternary residual soil lying over Lower Proterozoic dolomite, siltstone and sandstone (Scanned 250K Geology Maps, Geoscience Australia). Nearby low exposures of resistant metamorphics generally trend north-south, reflecting folding across a wide area.

Cartridge Creek, 1 km to the south, is the closest watercourse to the confluence. It flows into the Police Creek just to the south-west, which joins the Gregory River, 25 km to the west.

 

Hills in the distance, taken from near the confluence

 

 

IN THE DEGREE SQUARE

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Climate: The closest representative weather station is at Camooweal, which is approximately 138 km to the south-west of the degree confluence, and has an elevation of 231 m. The station has been recording data since 1891.

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Mean max
(ºC)

37.3

36.2

35.3

33.0

28.9

25.9

25.8

28.3

32.3

35.8

37.5

38.1

32.9

Mean min
(ºC)

24.3

23.7

21.8

18.0

13.4

9.9

8.8

10.9

15.1

19.5

22.3

23.8

17.6

Mean rain
(mm)

99.0

92.4

54.7

14.3

11.1

10.1

5.5

2.9

6.0

14.2

28.8

59.3

398.4

The highest temperature recorded was 46.6°C in December 1990, and the lowest was -2.2°C in June 1971. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 1 003.3 mm in 1974, and the lowest was 100.4 mm in 2001. These and other climate statistics for Camooweal can be found at: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_037010_All.shtml.

Extremes of Nature: The area is subject to some cyclone impact. The database maintained by the Bureau of Meteorology shows that since 1906, 25 cyclones have passed within 200 km of the degree confluence, although only two of these came within 50 km (an unnamed TC in 1957, and TC Paul in 1980). These cyclones bring with them potentially destructive winds and intense rainfall. Cyclone information for this area and all of Australia can be found at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/cyclones.cgi.

map

Cyclone tracks within 200 km of point 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)

Extreme heat is also a danger. Records show that the Camooweal Station experiences 155 days annually with temperatures 35°C or warmer, 36 days of which can even reach over 40°C. Such extreme temperatures can cause heat stroke and death if appropriate measures are not taken such as avoiding strenuous physical effort, keeping as cool as possible and drinking lots of water. Heat waves kill more people in Australia than all other natural hazards combined.

Today: This degree square has a population of less than 50.

 

Edited by: Hayley Freemantle

Point Information By: Jo Grant

REFERENCES

Geoscience Australia, NATMAP Raster

Geoscience Australia, Scanned 250 K Geology Maps