Messenger What if Australia were to stop farming? Towns that are slowly dying would collapse, jobs would go. But really the scandal of this thought goes beyond economics and into the very soul of the nation. The crucial insight to emerge from such a thought-experiment is that agriculture in Australia is a religion — it is as much a religion as it is an industry.
The highest point on the continent is Mt Kosciuszko that rises to 2, m, not an impressive height on a world scale. According to Twidale6 Australia is a compact continent that has few major islands, inlets or embayments and a coastline of a bit less than 20, km.
The ratio of shore length to land area of about 1 km of coast for every km2 1: Vincent and Spencer Gulf on the south. Endorheic streams that flow to basins of internal drainage serve more than half of the continental area.
The Lake Eyre catchment accounts for 1. Exoreic streams rivers that flow to the sea serve less than half the continent, with the River Murray being of notable length but has a low discharge rate as for much of its length it passes through arid areas.
Duricrust6 From sources The Australian continent is unique in a number of ways.
The current cost in Australia is approximately $ million to repair infrastructure damage caused by salinity. These relate to the additional costs incurred by the community to minimise salinity and rising watertable problems. Dryland salinity, the gradual loss of farm and grazing land to rising salt, is a massive problem, hard to comprehend and harder still to stop. There is salt everywhere in Australia; vast amounts. Australia is composed of six states, namely: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia; and two major mainland regions - the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory (Wells).
It is the driest, flattest, oldest, it has the most erratic climate of any continent, and much of it experiences great extremes of rainfall both during a year and from year to year. As a result of this, poor soil, arid and unpredictable climate over most of the continent, the plants, and therefore the animals that depend on them, have evolved into a unique flora and fauna.
Lack of volcanic or seismic activity leading to mountain building over much of the continent for many millions of years means that what mountain ranges there were have been worn down by erosion to mere stubs of their former glory.
The soil over much of Australia, especially the dry central parts, have not been renewed by volcanic activity for a very long time and are impoverished compared to soils from most other parts of the world. Another factor in the formation of fertile soils that was absent in Australia was glaciers.
During the ice ages of the last 2. During this time period Australia had cold windy periods at times of Northern Hemisphere glaciations, but no, or very limited, glaciers.
Any that formed were on the high country that is such a small part of the Australian landscape. After being recycled many times over much of the history of the Earth, with no new rock added by volcanism, the soils of arid Australia have been weathered and leached more than any others making them the most nutrient-deficient soils in the world.
And most of Australia spent many millions of years covered by seas.
In many places these seas were eventually cut off from the ocean and evaporation formed huge salt deposits which were later buried.
So added to this impoverished state of the soils there are vast areas where there are salt deposits beneath the surface which means when land is cleared for agriculture the removal of deep-rooted trees and shrubs mean the water table rises.
By the time the water table gets close to the surface it has passed through these salt layers and so causes salinisation in the root zone and eventually at the surface, which makes the land useless for agriculture.
A place where salt is a serious problem is the West Australian wheat belt. Landforms The geologic history and its climatic contrasts are reflected in the landforms.
There are 3 major structural components, the stable Western Shield, the gently warped Central Basin, and the ancient orogony of the Eastern Uplands, which have been rejuvenated by differential uplift in Tertiary and later times. The result is the vast plains and plateaux of the Australian landscape.
There are not many areas above about m, and even at Mt Kosciusko, the highest point on the continent, it is less then m above sea level. Not high compared with the mountains in other parts of the world. The Late Palaeozoic was the time when the most recent episode of mountain building occurred in Australia, with the deformation and uplift of the Eastern Highlands.
There have been many episodes of warping and faulting, that were widespread but minor, since the orogenesis that produced the Eastern Highlands.
The authors suggest that about 30 million years would be required to base-level a continent of the size of Australia, after allowing for isostatic compensation that would result from erosional unloading, allowing plenty of time since the last major orogenesis for the formation of extensive plains by weathering and erosion.
This meant that as sea level changes occurred the resulting changes of river behaviour were limited to the margins of the continent, with the coastal rivers being the only rivers affected, the inland rivers being shielded from such impacts.
On the east coast the short, steep rivers have not regressed as much as would be expected, some having eroded headward by about km in about 60 My.
In the later Tertiary the Lake Eyre Basin began to subside, resulting in the internal endogenetic drainage system that drains much of inland Australia. These components have determined the outline of the continent and the overall pattern of drainage and relief.
In the east, the peripheral uplift in the Eastern Uplands has resulted in the highest ground being near the coast. In the west of the continent, there is a narrow plain between the faulted edge of the shield and the coast. In the north-west the highest ground is in the marginal line of the HamersleyKimberley and Arnhem Land Plateaux.Beeton RJS (Bob), Buckley Kristal I, Jones Gary J, Morgan Denise, Reichelt Russell E, Trewin Dennis ( Australian State of the Environment Committee) , Australia State of the Environment Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra.
Australian Environment History – Essay: (Done By: Peter Evans) Abstract: Australian Environmental History Essay For many Australian citizens in the 21 century, there is an very important question that needs environmental problems of soil salinity and wind erosion on pastoral lands, etc (23) (24).
Spills remain a serious threat to the marine environment and Australian coastline. The largest spill to date was the Kirki tanker in which dropped 17, tonnes of oil off the coast of Western Australia.
Dryland salinity, the gradual loss of farm and grazing land to rising salt, is a massive problem, hard to comprehend and harder still to stop. There is salt everywhere in Australia; vast amounts. Jul 01, · Australia Essay. Autoliv Australia.
Words | 6 Pages. major changes in the social and cultural fabric of Australia but it also challenged the philosophy of what an Australian is and what Australia represented.
The late s and early s were times of great change. The Effect Of Dryland Salinity On Australia;. The current cost in Australia is approximately $ million to repair infrastructure damage caused by salinity.
These relate to the additional costs incurred by the community to minimise salinity and rising watertable problems.