Gosses Bluff Meteorite Impact Crater - NT

  Point of Interest

Position

DEG: -23.817499 132.314804
DMS: 23º 49' 3" S 132º 18' 53.29" E
UTM: 53 K 7363389mN 226434mE
Altitude: 735.53m

Description

Address & Contact

Namatjira NT 0872
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A

Information

Gosse bluff as we know it now, was discovered by Giles in 1872 and named Gosse’s Range after Mr Harry Gosse, a fellow of the Royal Society.
The bluff itself is a circular ring of hills 5km in diameter and 200m high. It was formed about 140 million years ago by the impact of an asteroid or comet believed to be up to 2km in diameter. The hills are part of the crater's central uplift, which formed when the earth's surface recoiled from the impact. A circular drainage system 24km in diameter marks the outer ring of the crater. The bluff is deeply significant to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people, who own the Tnorala Conservation Reserve that now contains the crater.
This impact is believed to have occurred at the very end of the Jurassic Period at a time when the largest dinosaurs declined in number. This impact alone would not have been large enough to cause mass extinctions on a broad scale, but would certainly have caused a lot of local damage.
From the journals of Ernest Giles;
“A few cypress pines are rooted in the rocky shelving sides of the range, which is not of such elevation as it appeared from a distance. The highest points are not more than from 700 to 800 feet. I collected some specimens of plants, which, however, are not peculiar to this range. I named it Gosse's range, after Mr. Harry Gosse. The late rains had not visited this isolated mass. It is barren and covered with spinifex from turret to basement, wherever sufficient soil can be found among the stones to admit of its growth.”
Australia Twice Traversed 6th-17th September, 1872
Despite his less than flattering description of the area, Giles managed to find meager supplies of water in the creeks and ravines which was sufficient to sustain his party and their horses for the time.
The Namatjira Road is a well maintained bitumen road although somewhat narrow and lacking a decent verge. It is only a short 12 km or so to the turn into Gosse Bluff. The sign boldly declares that it is a 4x4 access road only. It is only a short 6 km hop and once through the narrow gap and into the bluff proper, a well set out and maintained visitor and parking area awaits. It is worth climbing the lookout hill to the east for great views of the surrounding hills. The circular nature of the bluff becomes much more apparent from height.
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Wildflowers

Weather

Closest Weather Station

Watarrka at 10/09:00am CST
Distance from Gosses Bluff Meteorite Impact Crater 93.89km SW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts
19.4°C18.3°C54%9.9°C1020.3hPa0.0mmESE6km/hr
3knots
km/hr
knots

Closest Climatic Station

Papunya
Distance from Gosses Bluff Meteorite Impact Crater 79.35km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C38.037.234.631.825.822.122.825.431.134.435.336.4
Mean Min. °C22.922.320.016.010.26.76.38.213.216.919.421.4
Mean Rain mm46.039.248.616.322.815.512.36.17.218.032.134.5

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