AT THE POINT
Location: Degree Confluence 25S 142E is located in western Queensland in Channel Country, on the working property 'Flodden Hills'. The closest settlement is Windorah, approximately 81 km to the south-east. While the confluence itself is unmarked, a GPS was used to find the exact location (accurate to within a few metres). Access to the point is via property tracks, except for the last 400 m which were travelled on foot. The site was visited in the early morning by a party of RGSQ members travelling in four 4WD vehicles from Brisbane in June 2009.
Landscape: Elevation at the degree confluence is 203 m, and the view shows a generally flat terrain with isolated ridges. A notable human feature is a marker from what was probably an old confluence survey is located 480 m west of the point. This marker has the same initials and design as ones located in other areas of Queensland (including 21°S 138°E, 23°S 138°E, 24°S 141°E).
Surface material is largely gibbers, spinafex and scattered patches of grass. Other vegetation includes various species of scrubby trees (heights to 4 m). A variety of animals were either sighted at the point or nearby, including kangaroos, black cockatoos, and feral pigs, brumbies and donkeys.
The landscape is also broken by numerous drainage gullies, especially of Cungbulla Creek, the closest watercourse to the point. Cungbulla Creek then flows south-west to join Farrars Creek.
Main geological features of the area of the country around the confluence are Mesozoic Winton Formation mudstone and siltstone, except along nearby eroded creeks, which are characterised by Cainozoic Quaternary alluvium.
Point Photos By: Paul Feeney, Mary Comer
Point Information By: Paul Feeney, Jo Grant, Mary Nowill
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
Climate: The closest representative weather station is at the Windorah Post Office, which is located approximately 80 km south-east of the confluence, and has an elevation of 126 m. The station has been collecting data since 1887.
The highest temperature recorded was 47.1°C in December 1990, and the lowest was -1.8°C in July 1977. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 990.1 mm in 2000, and the least was 66.8 mm in 2002. These and other climate statistics for Windorah can be found at on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_038024_All.shtml
Extremes of Nature: Despite the area's inland location, it is still subject to the impact of some cyclones. The database maintained by the Bureau of Meteorology shows that since 1906 only 4 cyclones have tracked within 200 km of the confluence, although none have passed within 50 km. 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.
Cyclone tracks within 200 km of point 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)
Extreme heat and drought are also serious issues. Records show that Windorah experiences 124 days annually with temperatures over 35°C, 36 of which typically reach 40°C or warmer. 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. In addition, with relatively little rainfall and only 36 days a year on average with any rain, the area is also among the driest in Australia.
The population of the degree square at the 20 national Census was notionally 350 however that population is spread across the 61,825 sq km of the SA1 census collection area used in the 2011 census. That SA1 covers much of eight degree squares.
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
Geoscience Australia, NATMAP Raster
Geoscience Australia, Scanned 250 K Geology Maps