26°S 141°E Haddon Corner – Queensland by Degrees

AT THE POINT

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Degree confluence 26°S 141°E, Google Earth

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Looking north

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Looking east

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Looking south

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Looking west

Location: The site is in south-western Queensland, adjacent to the Qld-SA border. The area is on a gentle divide of poorly coordinated drainage between Cooper Creek (to the east) and the Diamantina River (to the west). The wider region is part of Channel Country.
The degree confluence (with no official marking) is found several hundred metres mainly south (and a little east) of the Corner Post. Like Queensland's other borders, there is discrepancy between the specified latitude or longitude and the border fence or post.
Access is by gravel track from the east. The nearest settlements are Birdsville and Windorah (Qld), and Innamincka (SA), between 170 and 200 kms distant from the Corner. The site was visited by a party of RGSQ members travelling in four 4WD vehicles from Brisbane in May, 2008.

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At Haddon Corner Post - border marker

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At Degree Confluence 26°S 141°E - ground surface of wind-polished gibbers

Landscape: Reaching Haddon Corner from the east requires crossing two dunes. These dunes are part of a small SE-NW trending dune field adjacent to Sturt Stony Desert (the westernmost of these dunes is visible from the Corner). Spot height at Haddon Corner is 91 m (Natmap 250K Raster Maps). The summit of the nearby dune is given as 105 m.
At the degree confluence the ground surface is covered by wind-polished red-brown silcrete gibbers, lying in a matrix of fine sediment. Geological features of the point include Quaternary sheet and dune sand. Cretaceous sedimentary rocks (marine environment) is underlying (Scanned 250K Geology Maps, Geoscience Australia).

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Google Image: dune field and drainage adjacent to 26°S 141°E


Point Photos: Paul Feeney, Mary Comer
Point Information By: Col & Jo Grant

IN THE DEGREE SQUARE

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Climate: The closest representative weather station to the confluence is at the Birdsville Police Station. It has an elevation of 47 m, and has been recording data since 1892.

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Mean max
(ºC)

38.8

37.8

35.1

30.3

24.8

21.6

20.8

23.5

28.1

32.1

35.5

37.7

30.5

Mean min
(ºC)

24.2

24.1

21.1

16.2

11.3

7.9

6.6

8.3

12.2

16.1

19.7

22.5

15.8

Mean rain
(mm)

24.7

29.0

16.4

9.5

11.8

10.4

10.9

6.4

5.7

12.1

13.7

16.0

167.2

The highest temperature recorded was 49.5°C in December 1972, and the lowest was -1.7°C in June and July 1965. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 541.8 mm in 1916, and the least was 33.2 mm in 1913. These and other climate statistics for Birdsville can be found at: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_038002_All.shtml

 
Extremes of Nature: Since 1906 there have been no cyclones to pass within 50 km of the degree confluence, but 4 within 200 km (1964, 1972, 1976, 1995). 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

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Cyclone tracks within 200 km of the confluence, 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)

Extreme heat and drought are also serious issues. Records show that Birdsville experiences 113 days annually with temperatures over 35°C, 45 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 very little rainfall and only 23 days a year on average with any rain, the area is also among the driest in Australia.

Today: The population of the degree square is less than 20.

Edited by:  Hayley Freemantle

REFERENCES

Geoscience Australia, NATMAP Raster

Geoscience Australia, Scanned 250 K Geology Maps