AT THE POINT
Location: Degree Confluence 27S 145E is located in south-west Queensland, on the property ‘Lantana' after which the degree square is named. The closest settlement is Cheepie, approximately 42 km to the north. While the confluence itself is unmarked, a GPS was used to find the exact location (accurate to within a few metres). Access to within 2.5 km of the point is via property tracks. The site was visited in the mid morning by a party of RGSQ members travelling in 4WD vehicles from Brisbane in November 2009.
GPS reading for point
Landscape: Elevation at the degree confluence is 235 m, and the view shows a flat, vegetated terrain. No human features are present at the site, although there is property infrastructure (including fences and roads) nearby. Surface material is red, sandy soil, and in all directions there are sparse mulga trees with low scrub and the occasional gum tree. There was no evidence of fauna at the confluence, but some cattle and sheep of the property were seen in the area.
The main geological feature at the confluence is red sand of Cainozoic Quaternary origin (less than 2.5 million years ago). The area immediately surrounding the confluence is devoid of creeks although there several dams nearby, and a drainage gully is less than 3 km distant, which that and other creeks nearby drains into a lower-lying area to the south-west of the point; area especially subject to indundation after rains.
Point Photos By: Paul Feeney
Point Information By: Paul Feeney, Jo Grant
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
Climate: The closest representative weather station is at Quilpie Airport, which is located 85 km to the north-west of the confluence, and has an elevation of 200 m. The station has been collecting data since 1917.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Quilpie was 46.5°C in January 1973 while the lowest temperature was -2.3°C in July 1977. The highest total of 919.3 mm was recorded in 1950 and the lowest total of 91.4 mm in 1937. These and other climate statistics for Quilpie can be found on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website at, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_045015_All.shtml.
Extremes of Nature: The area is 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, none of which 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 is also a significant issues. Records show that Windorah experiences 98 days annually with temperatures over 35°C, 20 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.
Today: The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national census was less than 50. The steady decline in population over the past decade is probably accounted for by the decline in the pastoral industries because of drought.
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
Geoscience Australia, NATMAP Raster
Geoscience Australia, Scanned 250 K Geology Maps