AT THE POINT
DRAFT VERSION - More information to come
Location: Degree Confluence 23°S 140°E is in Channel Country in western Queensland, on the working property, 'Goodwood'. While the confluence itself is unmarked, a GPS was used to find the exact location. Rough dirt tracks along property fences came almost to the point. The closest settlement is Boulia (after which the degree square was named), which is 14 km to the north-west. The site was visited in the early evening by a party of RGSQ members travelling in four 4WD vehicles from Brisbane in June, 2009.
Landscape: The view from the degree confluence shows flat terrain, with an elevation of 150 m. A property fence is visible just to the west, and there are some drainage gullies nearby. Surface material is largely grass, red soil, and red-brown gravel. Other vegetation is sparse, excepting along the line of nearby creeks, where trees reach a height of 4-5 m. No animals were sighted at the point, although cattle grazes on the property.
The geology of much of the surrounding country is Cainozoic alluvium such as sand, silt, and gravel.
The confluence is in between 5 Mile and 9 Mile Creeks (approximately 2.5 km to the west and east respectively). Both flow south along slightly lower levels of elevation to join the Hamilton River, which is part of the Eyre Basin. Numerous waterholes and bores are also found in nearby countryside.
Point Photo Credits: Paul Feeney, Mary Comer
Point Information By: Paul Feeney, Jo Grant, Mary Nowill
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
Climate: The closest weather station is at the Boulia Airport, which is 13 km to the north-west of the degree confluence, and has an elevation of 162 m.
The highest temperature recorded was 48.3°C in February 1915, and the lowest was -1.4°C in August 1906. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 798.6 mm in 1950, and the least was 24.1 mm in 1905.
These and other climate statistics for Boulia can be found at: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_038003_All.shtml.
Extremes of Nature: The area experiences extreme heat throughout much of the year, with Boulia having an average of 138 days annually that have maximum temperatures equal to or over 35°C. The hottest months are November to March, all of which experience on average approximately 20 days or more with temperatures equal to or over 35°C. With a low average rainfall and only 30 days a year with any rain, very dry conditions also prevail in the area.
Despite the area's relatively inland location, since 1906 one cyclone has passed within 50 km of the degree confluence (Audrey in 1964), and a further five have passed within 200 km. 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.
Cyclone image BOM
Today: The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national Census was 231, most of it living in Boulia. The steady decline in population is probably linked to the decline in the cattle industry.
Information: Ken Granger
Climate information: Jo Grant
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
References: NATMAP Raster
Scanned 250K Geology Maps, Geoscience Australia