Gulf of Carpentaria: Wikis

  
  
  

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The location of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The Gulf of Carpentaria from an 1859 Dutch map
The Gulf of Carpentaria between Bentinck Island (South Wellesley Islands) and the Australian continent

The Gulf of Carpentaria (14°00′S 139°00′E / 14°S 139°E / -14; 139) is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies between Australia and New Guinea). The northern boundary is generally defined as a line from Slade Point (the northwestern corner of Cape York Peninsula) in the northeast to Cape Arnhem (the easternmost point of Arnhem Land) in the west. At its mouth, the Gulf is 590 km wide, and further south, 675 km. The north-south length exceeds 700 km. It covers a water area of about 300,000 km². The general depth is between 55 and 66 meters (30 and 36 fm) and does not exceed 82 meters (45 fm).[1] In geological terms, the Gulf is young; it was dry land as recently as the last ice age.

Contents

Geography

The land bordering the Gulf is generally flat and low-lying. To the west is Arnhem Land, the Top End of the Northern Territory, and Groote Eylandt, the largest island in the Gulf. To the east is the Cape York Peninsula. The area to the south (like the Cape York Peninsula, part of Queensland) is known as the Gulf Country or simply "the Gulf."

The climate is hot and humid with two seasons per year. The dry season lasts from about April until November and is characterized by very dry southeast to east winds, generated by migratory winter high pressure systems to the south. The wet season lasts from December to March. Most of the year's rainfall is compressed into these months, and during this period, many low-lying areas are flooded. The Gulf is also a breeding ground for cyclones during the period between November and April.

In many other parts of Australia, there are dramatic climatic transitions over fairly short distances. The Great Dividing Range, which parallels the entire east and south-east coast, is responsible for the typical pattern of a well-watered coastal strip, a fairly narrow band of mountains, and then a vast, inward-draining plain that receives little rainfall. In the Gulf Country, however, there are no mountains to restrict rainfall to the coastal band and the transition from the profuse tropical growth of the seaside areas to the arid scrubs of central Australia is gradual.

In September and October the Morning Glory cloud appears in the Southern Gulf. The best vantage point to see this phenomenon is in the Burketown area shortly after dawn.

European exploration

The first known European explorer to visit the region was the Dutch Willem Janszoon (whose name is also written as Jansz) in his 1606 voyage. His fellow countryman, Jan Carstenszoon (or Carstensz), visited in 1623 and named the gulf in honour of Pieter de Carpentier, at that time the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Abel Tasman also explored the coast in 1644. The region was later explored and charted by Matthew Flinders in 1802 and 1803.

Major rivers of the Gulf

Physiography

The Gulf is one of the distinct physiographic sections of the larger (and surrounding) Carpentaria Basin province, which in turn is part of the larger East Australian Basins physiographic division.

Pop culture

The area around the Gulf of Carpentaria is a major ZAFT military base in the mecha anime series Gundam SEED.

References

External links

Coordinates: 14°00′S 139°00′E / 14°S 139°E / -14; 139


Simple English

File:Gulf of Carpentaria
The location of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

[[File:|thumb|right|The Gulf of Carpentaria from an 1859 Dutch map]]

File:Bentinck Island
The Gulf of Carpentaria between Bentinck Island (South Wellesley Islands) and the Australian continent

The Gulf of Carpentaria (14°00′S 139°00′E / 14°S 139°E / -14; 139) is a large, shallow sea surrounded on three sides by northern Australia. Its north edge is the Arafura Sea; the sea between Australia and New Guinea. At its mouth, the Gulf is 590 km wide, and further south, 675 km. The north south distance is more than 700 km. It covers a water area of about 300,000 km². The gulf is between 55 and 66 meters deep, although there are spots as deep as 82 meters.[1] In the last ice age the Gulf would have been dry land.

Contents

Geography

The land around the Gulf is generally flat and low-lying. To the west is Arnhem Land, the Top End of the Northern Territory, and Groote Eylandt, the largest island in the Gulf. To the east is the Cape York Peninsula. The area to the south, is a part of Queensland) called the Gulf Country or simply "the Gulf."

The climate is hot and humid with two seasons per year. The dry season lasts from about April until November and is has very dry southeast to east winds, caused by winter high pressure systems to the south. The wet season lasts from December to March. Most of the year's rainfall is happens in these months, and many low-lying areas are flooded. The Gulf is also a breeding ground for tropical cyclones from November and April.

In September and October the Morning Glory cloud appears in the Southern Gulf. The best place to see this is in the Burketown area shortly after dawn.

European exploration

The first known European person to visit the area was the Dutch Willem Janszoon (whose name is also written as Jansz) in his 1606 voyage. Jan Carstenszoon (or Carstensz), visited in 1623 and named the Gulf after Pieter de Carpentier, who was the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Abel Tasman also explored the coast in 1644. The area was later explored and mapped by Matthew Flinders in 1802 and 1803.

The first overland expedition to reach the Gulf was the Burke and Wills expedition, led by Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills. They left Melbourne in August 1860 and reached the Bynoe River in February 1861.

Rivers of the Gulf

  • Archer River
  • Calvert River
  • Cox River
  • Flinders River
  • Gilbert River
  • Leichhardt River
  • McArthur River
  • Mission River
  • Mitchell River
    • Alice River
  • Norman River
  • Roper River
    • Wilton River
  • Smithburne River
  • Staaten River
  • Wenlock River

References

Other websites


Coordinates: 14°00′S 139°00′E / 14°S 139°E / -14; 139








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