AT THE POINT
Location: Degree Confluence 27°S 141°E is located in far western Queensland, on the border with South Australia, in the eastern edge of the Strzelecki Desert. The closest settlement is Innamincka (in SA), approximately 84 km to the south-west. While the confluence itself is unmarked, a GPS was used to find the exact location (accurate to within a few metres). Access to within 3 km of the point is via Cordillo Road, and the remainder of the journey was across country. The site was visited in the mid afternoon by a party of RGSQ members travelling in 4WD vehicles from Brisbane in November 2009.
Landscape: Elevation at the degree confluence is 71 m, and the landscape is characterised by low, red sand dunes of the eastern edge of the Strzelecki Desert (seen above in the Google Earth image). Surface material is sand, and there are clumps of spinifex as well as some low bushes. No animals were sighted in the region of the confluence. Human features near the site include the old rabbit fence that runs north-south following the border, infrastructure of the working cattle property, ‘Nappa Merrie' (such as tracks, fences, windmills), and also features associated with petroleum and gas mining (lines, oil wells
The nearest watercourse is a small dry tribuatary of Montkeleary Creek to the west and north-west (visible in the Google Earth image above). There are also several small dry lakes in amongst nearby sand ridges, especially to the west in the centre of the Strzelecki Desert. The primary geological feature of the site is dune and sheet sand of Cainozoic Quaternary origin (less than 2.5 million years ago).
Point Photos By: Paul FeeneyThe border fenceStock Gate at the border
Point Information By: Paul Feeney, Jo Grant
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
More information to come on this point.
Climate: The closest representative weather station to the confluence is at Tibooburra, in New South Wales, which is to the south west, and has an elevation of 183 m. This station has been collecting data since 1886.
The highest temperature recorded was 47.6°C in December 1973, and the lowest was -2.5°C in June 1982. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 755.4 mm in 1974, and the lowest was 47.9 mm in 1919.
These and other climate statistics for Tibooburra can be found at on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_046037_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 only 2 cyclones have tracked within 200 km of the confluence, one of which also passed within 50 km of the point (TC Gertie in December 1995). 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 Tibooburra experiences 75 days annually with temperatures over 35°C, 17 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 little rainfall and only 32 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 zero.
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
Geoscience Australia, NATMAP Raster
Geoscience Australia, Scanned 250 K Geology Maps