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Red Earth, Western Australia

February 1st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

January 22nd, 2009

January 22nd, 2009

Here, the deep red soil of the arid state of Western Australia can be observed. In some places, particularly the lower left quadrant, there are the former banks of dried-up streams. In others, such as the upper right quadrant, the terrain appears sandier, with linear patterns caused by wind.

The extreme age of the landscape has meant that the soils in this region are remarkably infertile and frequently laterised.

Even soils derived from granitic bedrock contain an order of magnitude less available phosphorus and only half as much nitrogen as soils in comparable climates in other continents.

Soils derived from extensive sandplains or ironstone are even less fertile, being even more devoid of soluble phosphate and also deficient in zinc, copper, molybdenum and sometimes potassium and calcium.

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