Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Lake Boonderoo

About 20 km southeast of Kitchener on the western margin of the Nullarbor Plain. A palaeodrainage system flows for about 500 km, draining from northwest to southeast, flows into the lake as the Ponton Creek (or Goddards Creek) for the final half of the course. Stretching 75 km west of Leonora, the string of Raeside playas are part of the drainage system. The headwaters of a palaeoriver was situated in the large region, that was inward-draining, west of the first lake in the chain. The Lake Rebecca playas are in another palaeodrainage system to the south of the Raeside, joining Ponton Creek. As with all the drainages around the edge of the Nullarbor Plain, it was cut short when the the Plain was uplifted. The palaeodrainages drain the northeastern Goldfields.

The lake has filled only twice in recent times, once in 1975. This was a year of above average rain when the Murchison and Goldfields region received a lot of rain from cyclone Trixie in February, the lake containing water for 8 years. Some credited the filling of the lake to overgrazing by sheep in the catchment, possibly extending to Leonora, which increased the runoff as a result of the hardening of the surface that occurs when the natural ecosystems are destroyed, leading to less infiltration. It was the first time since the first world war that the railway bridge was washed away.

The next filling was 1995, when cyclone Bobby dumped torrential rain on the northeastern Goldfields.

Sources & Further reading

Mary E White, Running Down, Water in a Changing Land, Kangaroo Press, 2000


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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading