Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Rock of ages

Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) lies to the west of Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Central Australia. Like Uluru, it is formed of Mount Currie conglomerate. The rock began as debris from the 600 million year old mountains that once dominated the landscape to the west. Eroded away by rivers and deposited as an alluvial fan, the debris became compressed into conglomerate. Among the sand grains lie boulders of granite and basalt more than a billion years old.

The surrounding land has been weathered away. Wind and water have scoured and sculpted the exposed rock into the curves and canyons that make Kata Tjuta a remarkable place.

Not, as I heard a group of tourists complain, just another bunch of rocks.

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