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Australia The Land Down Under


... Dampier became the first British explorer to land on the Australian coast. ... Englishman, Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, extended a scientific ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Australia The Land Down Under

Australia The Land Down Under
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  • Before the arrival of European settlers,
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    inhabited most areas of the Australian continent.
  • Each people spoke one or more of hundreds of
    separate languages, with lifestyles and cultural
    traditions that differed according to the region
    in which they lived.
  • Their complex social systems and highly developed
    traditions reflect a deep connection with the
    land and environment.
  • Asian and Oceanic mariners and traders were in
    contact with Indigenous Australians for many
    centuries before the European expansion into the
    Eastern Hemisphere.
  • Some formed substantial relationships with
    communities in northern Australia.

Lake Mungo- age of Mungo Man. between 30,000
years 60,000.
  • The first recorded European contact with
    Australia was in March 1606, when Dutch explorer
    Willem Janszoon (c.1570 - 1630) charted the west
    coast Queensland.
  • Over the next two centuries, European explorers
    and traders continued to chart the coastline of
    Australia, then known as New Holland.
  • In 1688, William Dampier became the first
    British explorer to land on the Australian coast.
  • It was not until 1770 that another Englishman,
    Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour,
    extended a scientific voyage to the South Pacific
    in order to further chart the east coast of
    Australia and claim it for the British Crown.
  • Britain decided to use its new outpost as a penal
    colony the First Fleet of 11 ships carried about
    1500 peoplehalf of them convicts.
  • The fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour on 26 January
    1788, and it is on this day every year that
    Australia Day is celebrated.

  • In all, about 160 000 men and women were brought
    to Australia as convicts from 1788 until penal
    transportation ended in 1868.
  • The convicts were joined by free immigrants from
    the early 1790s.
  • The wool industry and the gold rushes of the
    1850s provided an impetus for free settlers to
    come to Australia.
  • Scarcity of labor, the vastness of the land and
    new wealth based on farming, mining and trade
    made Australia a land of opportunity.
  • Yet during this period, Indigenous Australians
    suffered enormously. Death, illness, displacement
    and dispossession disrupted traditional
    lifestyles and practices.

Port Arthur, Tasmania was Australia's largest
penal colony
  • The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901
    through the federation of six states under a
    single constitution.
  • The non-Indigenous population at the time of
    Federation was 3.8 million (Indigenous93,000).
    Half of these lived in cities, three-quarters
    were born in Australia, and the majority were of
    English, Scottish or Irish descent.
  • The founders of the new nation believed they were
    creating something new and were concerned to
    avoid the pitfalls of the old world.
  • They wanted Australia to be harmonious, united
    and egalitarian, and had progressive ideas about
    human rights, the observance of democratic
    procedures and the value of a secret ballot.
  • While one of the first acts of the new
    Commonwealth Parliament was to pass the
    Immigration Restriction Act 1901, which
    restricted migration to people of primarily
    European origin, this was dismantled after the
    Second World War.
  • Today Australia has a global, non-discriminatory
    policy and is home to people from more than 200
  • From 1900 to 1914 great progress was made in
    developing Australias agricultural and
    manufacturing capacities, and in setting up
    institutions for government and social services.
  • 2006 - 20,629,787

A poster entitled 'Advance Australia' produced in
  • Overall, the Australian Aborigines went through
    stages of being conquered through an 'invasion'
    and taking of their lands.
  • Many adapted to the new lifestyle (when many
    became reliant on alcohol, tobacco and handouts
    of food and clothing. However the settlers were
    often contemptuous of the Aborigines and
    separated them from their society and the people
    became the fringe dwellers of society. Often they
    were killed as a nusiance.
  • Others were removed from their families and
    placed into institutions.
  • From the late 1830s the remnants of the tribes in
    the settled areas were moved onto Reserves and
    Missions where they were 'managed' by Whitemen
    and were forbidden from teaching their children
    their language and customs.
  • During the 1900s separation was an official
    government policy which lasted for many decades.
  • Today, many Aboriginal people do not know their
    origins. In other words, which tribe they are
    descended from or the names of their parents and
    or grandparents. They are a lost generation.
  • Source http//

  • In 1967 the Australian people approved in a
    national referendum to give the federal
    government the power to pass legislation on
    behalf of Indigenous Australians and to include
    Indigenous Australians in future censuses.
  • The referendum result was the culmination of a
    campaign by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous
  • It was widely seen as affirmation of the
    Australian peoples wish to see its government
    take direct action to improve the living
    conditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
    Islander peoples.

  • In March 1967 striking Aboriginal pastoral
    workers changed political history by extending a
    demand for equal wages to a declaration of their
    rights of ownership of traditional lands.
  • This became one of Australias first successful
    land claims by its indigenous people.
  • In this photograph Mervyn Bishop captures the
    moment when the country is symbolically handed
    back to Vincent Lingiari, one of the traditional
    land owners of Dagu Ragu (Wattie Creek), by the
    Prime Minister of the day, Gough Whitlam.
  • Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pours soil into
    hands of traditional landowner Vincent Lingiari,
    Northern Territory 1975

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Forest Inventory
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  • Australia has unique land, water, vegetation and
    biodiversity resources. The Australian continent
    of 7.6 million km2 supports a wide range of
    agricultural and forestry industries. The 16.1
    million km2ocean supports a wide range of marine
  • The management of their natural resources is one
    of Australias greatest challenges.
  • Production from natural resources earns over 30
    billion a year in exports from the agriculture,
    fisheries and forestry industries.
  • Responsibility for natural resources generally
    rests with the States and Territories, however
    the Australian Government is responsible for some
    fisheries, primarily offshore or cross-State

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Agricultural Production
  • Australia is a dry continent where rainfall is
    unreliable compared with Europe and North
  • Recurring droughts and floods are a natural
    feature of the landscape.
  • The Australian continent has a number of distinct
    climatic zones
  • the summer dominant tropics and sub tropics to
    the north
  • the Mediterranean climates to the south
  • the arid and semi arid regions in the middle of
    the continent
  • areas of high rainfall on coastal fringes and in
    the ranges of the east of Australia.
  • Agricultural land use is heavily influenced by
    this climatic regime. Generally, the tropical
    north is suited to grazing (principally cattle)
    as well as the production of fruit and sugarcane.

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  • Water availability
  • Australia has an average rainfall of only
    469mm/year, with annual averages ranging from
    127mm in south east South Australia to 3,163mm in
    north east Queensland.
  • Evaporation rates are extremely high with only
    12 of rainfall collecting in rivers, compared
    with a world average of 65.
  • Of all the inhabited continents, Australia has
    the least amount of water in its rivers. The
    rivers have more than twice the flow variation of
    those of Europe, second to southern Africa.
  • Water storage capacity is over 4,000KL per
    person, the highest water storage capacity per
    capita in the world.
  • There are 447 large dams supplying 79,000 GL
    (Gigalitres) of water for irrigation,
    industrial, hydo-electricity and urban use.
  • Estimated total water supply in 1996-97 was
    80,363 GL.
  • Source http//

  • Irrigation is well established and is an
    important feature of the agricultural landscape.
  • Widespread irrigation and extraction by other
    water uses has placed the natural ecosystems that
    rely on the nation's water resources under
    considerable pressure.
  • The challenge for resource managers is to ensure
    balance between the use of water for production
    purposes and conservation of riverine

Percentage run off for each Basin
Drainage basins in the central Australian
mountain ranges, have rapid response times and
floods may rise quickly, blocking roads in Alice
Springs.  This image shows a flood on the Todd
River at the Heavitree Gap Causeway. 
Bedrock Geology
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  • Soils of Australia
  • The agricultural landscapes of Australia are
    supported by a wide range of soil types.
  • Most, soils are ancient, strongly weathered and
  • Old soils along with the natural limitations of
    many soils and their interactions with climate,
    have made it more challenging to develop
    sustainable systems for agriculture.
  • Limitations to productivity have also been
    induced through human impacts on soils.
  • While some forms of degradation such as nutrient
    deficiencies can be corrected, others, such as
    soil erosion, compaction and acidification are
    difficult to remedy.
  • Australian soils tend to be
  • old     
  • salty     
  • clayey except in the west of the continent
    where they tend to be sandy     
  • acidic     
  • nutritionally and organically impoverished     
  • structurally challenging.

Source http//
  • Australian soils have less organic matter and
    poorer structure than soils in the Northern
  • They tend to be quite clayey just below the
    surface which restricts drainage and impedes root
  • Some of the clay characteristics cause problems
    for engineering and farming because of their
    shrink and swell nature.
  • Australias rate of soil formation is low by
    world standards taking 1,000 years, in many parts
    of the country, for 3 cm of soil to form.
  • Dust storms can cause large losses of soil, for
    example the 1983 Melbourne dust storms resulted
    in a loss of more than two million tons of soil.

Source http//
Source of Soils Information
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  • FERROSOLS Soils with B2 horizons which are
    high in free iron oxide, and which lack strong
    texture contrast between A and B horizons.
  • The B2 horizon has structure more developed than
    weak and a fine earth fraction which has a free
    iron oxide content greater than 5 (as opposed to
    a Dermosol).
  • Some Tasmanian soils, particularly the ferrosols
    (the red soils of the north-west and north-east)
    are of world class quality because of their free
    drainage and good structure, but they can be
    easily degraded.
  • This soil profile is an example of a soil with a
    gradational profile (clay content increasing
    gradually down the profile).
  • Source Richard Doyle

Source Soil Orders-Australia
  • Organosol This class caters for most soils
    dominated by organic materials.
  • Although they are found from the wet tropics to
    the alpine regions, areas are mostly small except
    in south west Tasmania.
  • There have been few previous attempts to
    subdivide these soils and data are limited in
  • Organosol soil profile from Tasmania.

  • Dermosols Soils with structured B2 horizons and
    lacking strong texture contrast between A and B
  • Although there is some diversity within the
    order, it brings together a range of soils with
    some important properties in common.
  • This example is of a Red Dermosol that occurs on
    a lower river terrace of the Tallangatta Creek in
    north-east Victoria

Red Dermosols occur on a range of landscapes in
the North East region of Victoria - from lower
river terraces to mountainous areas.
  • Kandosols This order accommodates those soils
    which lack strong texture contrast, have massive
    or only weakly structured B horizons, and are not
    calcareous throughout.
  • The soils of this order range throughout the
    continent, often occurring locally as very large
  • Kandosol soil profile from Western Australia.
  • Red Kandosoldeveloped on granite

  • Rudosols This order is designed to accommodate
    soils that have negligible pedologic
  • They are usually young soils in the sense that
    soil forming factors have had little time to
    pedologically modify parent rocks or sediments.
  • The component soils can obviously vary widely in
    terms of texture and depth many are stratified
    and some are highly saline.
  • Data on some of them are very limited.
  • Rudosol soil profile from Queensland.

  • Hydrosol This order is designed to accommodate a
    range of seasonally or permanently wet soils and
    thus there is some diversity within the order.
  • The key criterion is saturation of the greater
    part of the profile for prolonged periods (2-3
    months) in most years.
  • The soils may or may not experience reducing
    conditions for all or part of the period of
    saturation, and thus manifestations of reduction
    and oxidation such as 'gley' colors and red
    mottles may or may not be present.

  Exotic Pine Trees at the Redoxic Hydrosol Site
  • Tenosols This order is designed to embrace soils
    with generally only weak pedologic organisation
    apart from the A horizons.
  • It encompasses a rather diverse range of soils,
    which are nevertheless widespread in many parts
    of Australia.
  • Tenosols have a weakly developed soil profile
    which is typically very sandy and without obvious
  • Tenosols form from highly salicious parent
    material and where rainfall is from 0 to 1400mm.
  • Generally, tenosols have a very low agricultural
    potential with very low chemical fertility, poor
    structure and low water-holding capacity.
  • Ground-water contamination can be a potential
    problem due to the high permeability of these

  • Vertosol Clay soils with shrink-swell properties
    that exhibit strong cracking when dry and at
    depth have slickensides and/or lenticular
    structural aggregates.
  • Although many soils exhibit gilgai microrelief,
    this feature is not used in their definition.
  • Australia has the greatest area and diversity of
    cracking clay soils of any country in the world.
  • Vertosol soil profile from Queensland.

  • GILGAI MICRORELIEF Gilgai's are common where
    they are Grey Vertosol soils.
  • The land surface is irregular with alternating
    mounds and depressions and is commonly referred
    to as 'crab hole' country.
  • Gilgai microrelief in a paddock in the Horsham
    region. Note the well defined mounds.
  • Gilgai microrelief is formed due to clay horizons
    shrinking and swelling with alternate drying and
    wetting cycles (vertic properties).
  • This forces 'blocks' of subsoil material
    gradually upwards to form mounds.
  • The resultant soil on the mounds have properties
    which are more like Grey Vertosol subsoils (i.e
    lighter colour, more alkaline, presence of
    carbonate, higher salinity).
  • Source http//

  • CRUSTY Soils with a massive or weakly structured
    surface crusty horizon (3 cm or less thick).
  • It is often lower in clay content than the
    underlying non-self mulching structured clay.
  • This term is used as a Great Group definition for
  • CONCHOIDAL FRACTURING A mass of soil which has
    obvious concave fracturing (ball and socket
  • This is associated with severe compaction and
    remoulding (disturbed in a moist to wet
  • It is best seen in a soil pit exposure when
    material is removed with a mattock or pick and
    has the appearance of fractured bluestone.
    Conchoidal fracturing is most likely to occur
    just beneath the surface of clay soils
    (Vertosols) and if the soil has been compacted
    (e.g. vehicular traffic) whilst in a moist to wet
    condition (i.e. wetter than the plastic limit)
    for prolonged periods.

  • Kurosols Soils with strong texture contrast
    between A horizons and strongly acid B horizons.
  • Many of these soils have some unusual subsoil
    chemical features (high magnesium, sodium and
  • Red Kurosol on granite near Springhurst

Surface (A) horizons loam or sandy loam
texture 15-20 cm thick shallow hardsetting A1
overlying bleached A2 horizon clear to abrupt
change toSubsoil (B2) horizonclay texture
well developed fine subangular blocky peds
strongly acid
  • Sodosols Soils with strong texture contrast
    between A horizons and sodic B horizons which are
    not strongly acid.
  • Australia is noteworthy for the extent and
    diversity of sodic soils
  • Sodosol soil profile from Western Australia

  • COLUMNAR STRUCTURE Soil particles are arranged
    around a vertical axis with flat faced peds.
  • The tops of the columns have clearly defined
  • Columnar structure is often associated with
    subsoil sodicity.
  • Columnar structure in the subsoil of a
    Corangamite Sodosol.

  • Chromosols Soils with strong texture contrast
    between A horizons and B horizons.
  • The latter are not strongly acid and are not
  • The soils of this order are among the most
    widespread soils used for agriculture in
    Australia, particularly those with red subsoils.
  • Chromosols display a significant texture change
    from loamy upper horizons to clay subsoils which
    are neither sodic nor strongly acidic.
  • Examples can be found on hillslopes in the
    uplands and on volcanic plains.
  • Subsoils are strongly mottled and strongly
    structured with shiny clay peds suggestive of
    early Pleistocene weathering.
  • Red Chromosol on alluvial deposits near
  • Yellow Chromosol

  • CALCRETE A layer where cemented carbonate
    accumulation has occurred.
  • The material must be hard in a pan or in the
  • This definition does not describe the common soft
    carbonate nor the carbonate accumulated in
    nodules or concretions.
  • This term is used to describe a number of soils
    in the Australian Soil Classification

  • Calcarosols As the name suggests, the soils in
    this order are usually calcareous throughout the
    profile, often highly so.
  • They constitute one of the most widespread and
    important groups of soils in southern Australia.
  • Limitations for agriculture include shallow
    depth, low water retention and wind erosion on
    the sandier forms.
  • High salinity, alkalinity and sodicity may also
    be a problem. Soil fertility deficiencies are
  • Calcarosol soil profile from South Australia.

  • COFFEE ROCK A compacted, cemented or indurated
    layer within the profile that is comprised of
    humus and iron oxides.
  • Thick coffee rock layer (Bhs horizon) from 80 cm
    depth in a Cranbourne Podosol.
  • Thinner irregular coffee rock layer (Bhs horizon)
    at 80 cm depth in a Cranbourne Podosol.

  • Podosols
  • Soils with B horizons dominated by the
    accumulation of compounds of organic matter,
    aluminium and/or iron. These soils are recognised
    world-wide, and Australia is particularly noted
    for its 'giant' forms.
  • Podosols are the dominant soil in the
    CranbourneBotanic Gardens and support heathland
  • Elsewhere in the region they have largely been
    cleared ofnatural vegetation and support land
    uses such as horticulture.

  • Groundwater
  • Without groundwater much of inland Australia
    could not have been developed.
  • The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is Australias
    biggest source of groundwater and extends under
    1.7 million km2 (22) of Australia
  • The Basin ranges in depth from less than 100
    metres at the edge to over 3km in places.
  • The GAB contains 64.9 million GL of water, making
    it the worlds largest artesian groundwater
  • Average groundwater flow is from 0.2 to 2.5
    metres/year. It can take two million years for
    water to cross the Basin.

  • The Murray-Darling Basin in the south-east of the
    continent has a large irrigation infrastructure,
    supporting the production of fruit, vegetables,
    rice and many other intensive agricultural
  • A better understanding of groundwater flow
    systems will help manage salinity in the
    Murray-Darling Basin.
  • source http//

  • Agriculture in the arid zone involves extensive
    grazing, where sheep and cattle are reared at
    relatively low densities of less than one sheep
    per 10ha.
  • The higher rainfall zones are suitable for
    dairying, as well as more intensive grazing
    enterprises that produce meat.

  • The National Action Plan is a strategy for
    tackling two of Australia's most serious natural
    resource management issues increasing salinity
    levels and declining water quality.

  • The seven-year, AUD1.4 billion program is
    jointly funded by Commonwealth, State and
    Territory governments and builds on existing
    government initiatives to tackle salinity and
    water quality problems, including the Natural
    Heritage Trust.

Australias Future
  • Global Climate Change shorelines, drought,
  • Neighbors to the North- Indonesia - 201 million
    people with a booming economy (oil) and with a
    military regime Indonesia is a nation with a
    desperate shortage of space, which may regard
    Australia as an empty country
  • National debt (28 billion ) Australia's national
    debt is just under four per cent of GDP
  • Energy resources-Australia has some of the
    lowest-priced energy in the industrial world, due
    largely to the wide availability of inexpensive
    coal. Thirty three per cent of Australia's
    greenhouse emissions come from electricity
    generation, with 92 per cent of this from coal.
    Australia has large resources of energy, such as
    gas, hydro, wind uranium and solar, which have
    lower emissions intensities than coal. But each
    of these has drawbacks.
  • Need for environmental protection of fragile
  • It is a bright future, it is an optimistic time.
  • The Australian economy now is better and stronger
    than it has been at any time since World War II.
  • We don't have a fixed exchange rate, we don't
    have high tariffs, we don't have an
    overdependence on certain exports.
  • We have a growing capacity in the service
    industries in relation to exports, we've
    diversified our manufacturing exports, we still
    continue to be greatly enriched from our
    agriculture and mining exports.
  • John Howard- 3 March 2004