Gulf of Carpentaria Geomorphological Region

Gulf of Carpentaria

  • Both wave- and tide-dominated estuaries and some of Australia´s largest river deltas with extensive mangrove forests, saltflats, and low-lying coastal plains
  • Very heavy rains in summer and almost no rain in winter
  • Wave energy is generally very low due to the protected nature of the Gulf, and tidal currents are dampened by the broad, shallow continental shelf
  • Coastline is mostly flat with few embayments or rocky headlands
  • Most estuaries are near pristine due to minimal human development
  • Eastern Gulf of Carpentaria estuaries differ from southern and western Gulf of Carpentaria estuaries in several ways as outlined below

East Gulf of Carpentaria

  1. Estuaries occupy an extensive low-gradient coastal plain and occur landward of a well-developed strandplain comprising multiple beach ridges and barriers
  2. Often an extensive low-energy central basin
  3. Waves can be a significant influence

Landsat image of Kirke River, east side of Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland

Report for Kirke River, Queensland

South & West Gulf of Carpentaria

  1. Estuaries have extensive branching and multiple channels
  2. Marginal marine environments such as saltflats extend further inland than on the east Gulf of Carpentaria coast

Landsat image of Limmen Bight River, western Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory

Report for Limmen Bight River, Northern Territory

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