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Phytoplankton of Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia – May 28th, 2013

16.8S 139.8E

May 28th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Australia – May 28th, 2013

The phytoplankton of the shelf waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, is basically a diatom flora, distinctly different from the oceanic, predominantly dinoflagellate flora of the Coral Sea and Indian Ocean. Large morphologically elaborate tropical diatoms and dinoflagellates of this shelf region show great species diversity (click here for more information).

Fires East of Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, Australia – May 25th, 2013

14.2S 129.9E

May 25th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Australia – May 25th, 2013

Fires can be seen east of the sediment-laden Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, in the Victoria Daly Shire, a local government area of the Northern Territory, Australia. The shire covers an area of 168,277 km² and has an estimated population of 6,868 people. The smoke plumes from the fires are blowing in a northwesterly direction, towards the Timor Sea.

Sediments from the Flinders River, Australia

17.8S 140.5E

May 24th, 2013 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Australia – May 24th, 2013

Predicted climate change for the Australian tropics includes higher temperatures, a more intense monsoon, general increase in rainfall intensities, possible marked increase in heavy rains, more floods and dry spells, increased potential evaporation and enhanced topographic effects on rainfall. To predict river response to climate change and agricultural development, scientists have studied the condition of existing rivers in the Australian tropics, such as the Flinders River, visible here spilling sediments into the southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Flinders River is the longest river in Queensland, Australia at about 1004 km, and the sixth longest river in all of the country. The river rises in the Burra Range, part of the Great Dividing Range, and flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria 25 km west of Karumba, Queensland. The catchment covers 109,000 km², in which anabranching rivers predominate, with confined and constrained rivers also present. (click here for more information).

Sediments in Broad Sound, Australia

22S 150.3E

May 20th, 2013 Category: Sediments

Australia – May 20th, 2013

Broad Sound is a large bay on the east coast of Australia, in the state of Queensland 675 km northwest of the state capital, Brisbane. It is about 50 km long and 20 km across at its widest point. The Torilla Peninsula forms the eastern side of the bay; Shoalwater Bay is on the other side of the peninsula.

The bay has a low-lying coastline with wide mudflats exposed at low tide and backed by extensive areas of mangroves. Here, sediments can be seen spilling out of the sound. The head of the bay has the greatest tidal range on Australia’s east coast – around 9 m.

The coastline is punctuated by the mangrove-lined estuaries of several rivers and creeks, including Herbert and St Lawrence Creeks and the Styx River. Behind the mangroves is a hinterland of low, rounded hills covered by a mix of grassland and low eucalypt woodland or forest. The climate is subtropical with a dry winter.

The extensive tracts of mangroves and mudflats, comprising some 1200 km2 in the southern part of the bay, have been classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area.

Wildfires in Victoria, Australia

37.8S 144.9E

May 9th, 2013 Category: Fires

Australia – May 9th, 2013

Red markers indicate the locations of wildfires near the coast of Victoria, Australia, southwest of Port Phillip Bay, near Melbourne. One fire exudes a plume of smoke that blows due southeast, over the Bass Strait. The fires appear to be located in mountainous, wooded regions, and thus are likely wildfires burning through woodland rather than agricultural in nature.