19°S 140°E Mellish Park – Queensland by Degrees

THE POINT

point

Degree confluence 19°S 140°E, Google Earth

map

east

Looking East

west

Looking West

north

Looking North

Looking South

gps

Location: This confluence point is located on Lorraine Station about 500 m north of the Wills Developmental Road close to its crossing of Single Creek. The site lies just inside Carpentaria Shire. The nearest populated place is the Burke and Wills Roadhouse at the junction of the Bourke Developmental Road and the Wills Developmental Road about 45 km south-east of the point.

The Landscape: The site is on flat floodplain of the Leichardt River and its distributary Single Creek. Soils are light sandy alluvium and the vegetation is low open savannah of eucalypts and wattles. Ground cover is mainly Mitchell grass (Astrebla sp.) tussocks. The area is used for cattle grazing.

 

shrubtree

IN THE DEGREE SQUARE

The Country: The degree square is mostly low-lying flood plain of the Leichardt River and its various distributaries. Elevations are mostly around 50 m ASL or lower. In the south-east corner, however, the country rises sharply to elevations of 300 m ASL in the hills at the northern end of the Waggaboonyah Range. This high country consists of ancient siltstones and sandstone of Proterozoic age (2500 to 545 million years) while the floodplains are of much more recent origin including Pliocene and Pleistocene age (5 million to modern) sediments.

MORE DETAILS NEEDED

square

The Climate: The area has a climate that is classified as hot grassland with a winter drought. The nearest weather station with a similar climate is Donors Hill Station, about 60 km to the north-east of the degree confluence.

Donors Hill Station (site 029013) 1889-2008 (elevation 50 m ASL)

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Mean max
(ºC)

36.0

34.8

34.5

33.6

30.4

27.7

27.7

29.9

33.3

36.1

37.7

37.4

33.3

Mean min
(ºC)

24.3

23.9

22.3

19.5

15.7

12.9

11.9

13.2

16.9

20.7

23.2

24.2

19.1

Mean rain
(mm)

187.8

150.2

89.4

20.5

10.0

9.2

4.4

2.6

3.7

17.3

44.5

112.8

649.7

No data were available for extreme temperatures at Donors Hill Station, but it is likely that the highest temperature recorded was in excess of 45.0°C while the lowest temperature could have been as low as 2.0°C. Rainfall is also variable. The highest total of 1494.1 mm was recorded in 1974 and the lowest total of 238.5 in 1986.

Extremes of Nature: The cyclone database maintained by the Bureau of Meteorology contains the tracks of 29 cyclones that have tracked within 200 km of 19°S 140°E in the 101 years between 1906 and 2007. Most of these formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria, however one (TC Bertha) formed in the Timor Sea off Western Australia in January 1959 before tracking across the Top End and entering the Coral Sea near Cooktown. The most severe cyclone to have an impact in the area was ex-TC Larry which crossed the coast at Innisfail as a Category 4 storm in March 2006 - it had reached Category 5 level before making landfall. Most cyclones that impact on the area have degraded to tropical lows, however, they all bring torrential rain that produces extensive flooding over a wide area that can last several weeks.

Cyclone

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

The area experiences on average between 40 and 50 thunder days a year. The more severe thunderstorms can produce intense rainfall and localised flash flooding, destructive winds (including tornadoes) and lightning strikes that can spark bushfires if there is sufficient fuel to sustain spread.

The National Earthquake Database maintained by Geoscience Australia contains no event epicentres within the degree square.

The most harmful natural hazards likely to be experienced in the area are drought and heatwave.

The Indigenous Story: The area covers the traditional lands of the Binbinga people. MORE DETAILS NEEDED

European Exploration and Settlement: DETAILS NEEDED

Today:

The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national Census was less than 50. That population has been in significant decline over the previous decade, probably as the result of the impact on drought and other adverse economic conditions in the area’s pastoral industry. There are no significant settlements in the area.

MEASURE

1996

2001

2006

2011

Total population

261

111

62

<50

Total males

156

65

32

0

Total females

105

46

30

0

Under 5 years

6

3

3

0

65 years and over

12

10

6

0

Indigenous

39

9

6

0

The main industry is cattle grazing only infrastructure of significance is the road network which included the Wills and Burke Developmental Roads.

There are no national parks in the area.

MORE DETAILS NEEDED

Location

On Lorraine Station about 500 m north of the Wills Development Road

Nearest town

Burke and Wills Roadhouse 44km, Burketown about 150km

Access

By road then 500m walk

Terrain

Flat low-lying flood plain

Catchment

Leichhardt River

Geology & soils

Recent alluvium

Vegetation

Open savannah

Land use

Cattle grazing

Climate

Hot grassland with a winter drought

Population in degree square

62 at the 2006 census

Infrastructure

Local road network

National Parks

Nil

Compilers: Tony Hillier and Kev Teys, with additional material from Ken Granger 2008.

Point information and photos: Tony Hillier and Kev Teys, August 2008.

Edited by:  Hayley Freemantle

References to come