AT THE POINT
Location: This confluence point is on the property of 'Ularunda' and is located 3.8 km to the west of the Nebine Road. This road connects the town of Morven, on the Warrego Highway, with the Balonne Highway 175 km to the south. The point was reached on foot by following a fence line running due west from the Nebine Road for 4.1 km. It was located by GPS and has an accuracy of +/- 3 metres. The degree point is located in the Murwah Shire. The nearest settlement is Morven, 66 km to the north.
The Nebine Road is sealed for the first 35 km south from Morven and then unsealed for the remainder. Low level concrete fords are in place at significant creek crossings. The road has mainly a graded clay surface and would become impassable in sections after 25-50 mm of rain in a 24 hr period.
The Landscape: The landform is generally flat with rise between 9 and 30 metres with the elevation at the point being 317 metres. The land has a slight fall to the south and drains to a tributary of non-perennial Nebine Creek major drainage catchment near the point. The site is on red and grey clay soils derived from mudstone and siltstone of Early Cretaceous age (120 to 100 million years).
There is woodland vegetation at the point with the tallest eucalypt trees being no higher than 15 metres. Other trees include mulga (Acacia aneura). Vegetation under the tree canopy was sparse due to cattle grazing, with patchy low grass and shrubs. The area supports a large variety of parrots. Red and grey kangaroos were also sighted in the area while emus were also seen further south on the Nebine Road.
The area of the point is fenced and is used for cattle grazing. A bore and accompanying dam is located 500 metres south of the point.
At the confluence point
Point information and photos: Keith Hall, 24 September 2008 and Bruce Urquhart, 2011
IN THE DEGREE SQUARE
The Country: The country within the degree square slopes from north to south with the greatest elevations around 500 m and lowest elevations of around 200 m. From the degree point at an elevation of 350m, to the Qld/NSW 230 km to the south there is a fall of only 200 m, or less than 1m per kilometre. The great majority of the square is made up of sand plains of Cainozoic age (less than 66 million years). In the north of the square and in several patches towards the centre are outcrops of mudstone and siltstone of the Wallumbilla Formation, the same as the geology at the confluence point. Areas of salt pans exist at the south west corner of the degree square.
The land is drained by a number of south-flowing creeks such as Nebine Creek and Mungallala Creek. These streams flow to the Culgoa River, part of the Murray-Darling Basin. Heavy rains tend to inundate the country and the resultant river flows are slow moving.
Vegetation across the square is similar to that at the confluence point with generally low eucalypt woodlands the main form. In parts of the square and in the country to its south many areas of recent (2008) clear felling has taken place with the intention of creating improved pastures for cattle grazing.
Wildlife and land use is also similar to that at the point.
Climate: The climate within the square is classified as persistently dry grassland. The closest weather station is at Charleville, which is located 100 km north-west of the confluence, and has an elevation of 302 m. The station has been recording data since 1942.
The highest temperature recorded was 46.4°C in January 1973, and the lowest was -5.2°C in June 1951. The greatest rainfall recorded in a year was 1 025.2 mm in 1950, and the lowest was 206.4 mm in 1946. These and other climate statistics for Charleville can be found on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website at, http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_044021_All.shtml.
Extremes of Nature: Even though this area is well inland, five cyclones have come to within 200 km of the confluence point, however none have approached as close as 50 km. The nearest approach was by an unnamed cyclone in February 1956. This cyclone formed in the Coral Sea and eventually dissipated to the south of New Zealand after making a wide sweep across inland Queensland. 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 that passed within 200 km of the point since 1906 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)
The area experiences, on average, between 25 and 30 thunder days each year. Severe thunderstorms can bring destructive winds, intense rainfall that can produce flash flooding and lightning. Storms in the dry winter period can spark bushfires if there is sufficient fuel to promote spread.
Bushfires can pose a very significant threat to property and agricultural land as well as fire-sensitive native vegetation such as the rainforests in the gorges. In the late autumn and early summer bushfires can be especially dangerous given that fuels such as grass and forest litter is well cured and strong dry westerly to north-westerly winds are common.
The area can experience extreme heat throughout some of the year, with Charleville having an average of 63 days annually with maximum temperatures equal to or over 35°C. The hottest months are December to February, all of which experience on average over 10 days with temperatures equal to or over 35°C. 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.
The National Earthquake Database maintained by Geoscience Australia contains only one epicentre within the degree square. That was a ML 3.0 magnitude quake on 27 April 1990 located on the southern boundary of the square about 60 km to the south-south-east. No damage was reported from this events.
The Indigenous Story: The indigenous language / tribal group were the Gungarri who were centred around the Mungallala Creek/ Ballon and Nebine Creek area. This language was similar to the Mandandarji language and as a result this group spread east into that group's country. In the south of the square the land was the traditional country of the Kooma people.
MORE INFORMATION WELCOME
European Exploration and Settlement: INFORMATION WELCOME
The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national Census was 144. The ongoing decline is probably a reflection of the state of the grazing industry.
Major roads within the area are predominately of clay/gravel construction with improved crossings at creeks. Land use is predominantly cattle grazing.
The western two thirds of the square lie within Murweh Shire while the eastern section falls within the Roma Regional Council area. A small section of Paroo Shire cuts into the south-west corner of the square. A small sliver of the Tregole National Park is located on the northern border of the square.
Compilers: Keith Hall with additional material by Ken Granger, 2009
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle
Various web sites including EPA, local governments, tourist industry and Bureau of Meteorology.