Bun­gle Bun­gles

Australian Geographic - - Geo Buzz - SEAN SCOTT

“I’d vis­ited these bee­hive­like cone karst for­ma­tions in WA’s Kim­ber­ley be­fore, but this per­spec­tive, from a he­li­copter just af­ter storms had hit the area, was next level.

The Bun­gle Bun­gles be­gan life as an an­cient riverbed of sand­stone de­posited in lay­ers, com­pressed, up­lifted and then worked over mil­lions of years by the com­bined ac­tions of ero­sion, bi­ol­ogy and cli­mate. The darker lay­ers have a higher clay content that re­tains mois­ture and sup­ports a sur­face layer of cyanobac­te­ria, which pro­tects the un­der­ly­ing rock from ero­sion. Ox­i­da­tion of iron de­posits within the sand­stone re­sults in the rusty or­ange coloura­tion. It’s now 30 years since the Bun­gle Bun­gles have been pro­tected within Pur­nu­l­ulu Na­tional Park.

The site was as­signed World Her­itage sta­tus in 2003.”

Bun­gle Bun­gles

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