Great Sandy Desert
Monday, 21st June 2010 by Ian Brown
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is located in the far south-eastern area of the desert. We visited almost exactly 5 years ago, but the imagery has improved considerably since then, so it’s worth another look. There’s even a distant glimpse from the Lasseter Highway courtesy of Street View.
Another well known feature of this desert is Kandimalal – the Wolfe Creek meteorite impact crater, which was discovered in 1947 by aerial surveyors1. Measuring 60m deep and almost 900m across, the crater is believed to date back fewer than 300,000 years.
There are significant uranium deposits in the region, as well as minerals such as copper and gold – which are mined at a large facility near the isolated community of Telfer.
Nearer the coast, Mandora Salt Marshes are a mix of salt lakes and freshwater springs, where conditions can vary throughout the year. Heavy cyclone monsoon rains even occasionally affect the region, though such rainfall evaporates very quickly – continuing the aridity.
The occasional rainfall on the red earth does support shrubs and small trees in some areas of the desert, as we can see in Street View images of the roads that skirt the very edges of the desert.
Previously on Google Sightseeing: The Dingo Fence.
Thanks to Thomas James and Dark Orange.