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Marble Bar
Western Australia
Marble Bar 1898.jpg
Marble Bar in 1898
Population: 194 (2006 Census)[1]
Established: 1893
Postcode: 6760
Elevation: 178 m (584 ft)
Location:
  • 1476 km (917 mi) North East of Perth
  • 152 km (94 mi) South East of Port Hedland
  • 242 km (150 mi) North of Newman
LGA: Shire of East Pilbara
State District: Pilbara
Federal Division: Kalgoorlie
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
35.3 °C
96 °F
19.9 °C
68 °F
361.7 mm
14.2 in

Coordinates: 21°10′12″S 119°44′49″E / 21.17°S 119.747°E / -21.17; 119.747

Marble Bar is a town and rock formation in the Pilbara region of north-western Western Australia. It is well known for its extremely hot weather.

Contents

History

The town was officially gazetted in 1893 following the discovery of gold in the area in 1890 by a prospector named Francis Jenkins who is remembered by the name of the town's main street.[2] The name Marble Bar was derived from a nearby jasper bar mistaken for Marble and now known as Marble Bar, which runs across the bed of the Coongan River.

In 1891 the town boasted a population in excess of 5,000 as it experienced a rush on the goldfields.[3]

By 1895 the town had its Government offices built; these are now National Trust buildings. Cut from local stone, the buildings still stand today.

Possibly the most famous building in the town is the Ironclad hotel built in the 1890s, constructed of corrugated Iron, and given the name by American miners who were reminded of the Ironclad ships from the United States. In 2006, the Ironclad hotel was listed on the Western Australian register of heritage places.[4]

Several large gold nuggets were discovered as a result of the goldrush. The 333 ounce Little Hero nugget, the 413 ounce Bobby Dazzler and the 332 Ounce General Gordon nugget were all found in the goldfields around the town.

It had a railway connecting with Port Hedland up until the early 1950s, which can be seen as a narrow gauge precursor to the network of standard gauge iron-ore railways that have since been created across the Pilbara.

Climate

Marble Bar has an arid climate with very hot summers and mild to warm winters. The average summer high temperature is arguably the hottest of any areas in Australia and approaches those of cities such as Riyadh and Baghdad. The town set a world record of most consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) or more, during a period of 160 such days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.[5]

During December and January, temperatures in excess of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) are common, and the average maximum temperature exceeds normal human body temperature for 6 months each year.

Unlike other notoriously hot locations like Death Valley in the United States, Marble Bar does not have any remarkable topographical features that lead to climate anomalies (such as the extreme low elevation of the Death Valley region, and similar regions in the Middle East).

Climate data for Marble Bar, Western Australia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.2
(121)
48.3
(119)
46.7
(116)
45.0
(113)
39.5
(103)
35.8
(96)
35.0
(95)
37.2
(99)
42.6
(109)
45.6
(114)
47.2
(117)
48.3
(119)
49.2
(121)
Average high °C (°F) 41.0
(106)
39.8
(104)
39.0
(102)
36.0
(97)
30.7
(87)
27.1
(81)
26.8
(80)
29.6
(85)
33.9
(93)
37.6
(100)
40.5
(105)
41.6
(107)
35.3
(96)
Average low °C (°F) 26.1
(79)
25.7
(78)
24.8
(77)
21.4
(71)
16.6
(62)
13.2
(56)
11.7
(53)
13.3
(56)
16.7
(62)
20.3
(69)
23.6
(74)
25.5
(78)
19.9
(68)
Record low °C (°F) 18.9
(66)
13.9
(57)
15.0
(59)
10.0
(50)
5.6
(42)
1.1
(34)
2.2
(36)
3.9
(39)
5.6
(42)
10.0
(50)
14.4
(58)
17.0
(63)
1.1
(34)
Precipitation mm (inches) 76.3
(3)
87.8
(3.46)
56.7
(2.23)
21.9
(0.86)
23.0
(0.91)
23.0
(0.91)
12.6
(0.5)
6.4
(0.25)
0.9
(0.04)
3.8
(0.15)
9.1
(0.36)
39.6
(1.56)
361.7
(14.24)
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[6] 2008-09-21

North Pole

An ironic locality nearby known as North Pole (21° 05' S. 119° 22' E.) no doubt for its heat, is the location of rock formations that were for a while considered to have evidence that put the dating of life on earth back a few million years, due to stromatolite like objects in particular sequences. [7] [8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Marble Bar (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/ABSNavigation/prenav/LocationSearch?collection=Census&period=2006&areacode=UCL517200&producttype=QuickStats&breadcrumb=PL&action=401. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  2. ^ "Sydney Morning Herald - Travel - Marble Bar". 2004. http://www.smh.com.au/news/Western-Australia/Marble-Bar/2005/02/17/1108500208281.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  3. ^ "About Australia - Marble Bar, WA". 2008. http://www.about-australia.com/western-australia/australias-north-west/destinations/marble-bar/. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  4. ^ "ABC News - Historic Marble Bar hotel to get heritage listing". 2006. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/02/07/1564216.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  5. ^ "Marble Bar heatwave, 1923-1924". Australian Climate Extremes. Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/temp1.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  6. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations: Marble Bar Comparison". Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_004020_All.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  7. ^ Douglas, Kim. (1980) Oldest forms of life on Earth found in WA rocks. (North Pole Gold Mine (W.A.) Australian women's weekly, 5 Nov. 1980, p.36-37
  8. ^ Dunlop, J.S.R., Muir, M.D., Milne, A. & Groves, D.I., (1978). A New Microfossil Assemblage from the Archaean of Western Australia. Nature, 274, 5672. pp.676-678. Walter, M.R., Buick, R. & Dunlop, J.R.S. (1980) Stromatolites 3,400-3,500 Myr Old from the North Pole Area, Western Australia. Nature, 284, 5755. pp.443-445. Buick, R., Dunlop, J.S.R. & Groves, D.I., (1981). Stromatolite Recognition in Ancient Rocks and Appraisal of Irregularly Laminated Structures in an Early Archaean Chert-Barite Unit from North Pole, Western Australia. Alcheringa, 5. pp.161-181. Buick, R., (1988) . Carbonaceous Filaments from North Pole, Western Australia: Are They Fossil Bacteria in Archaean Stromatolites? A reply. Pre-Cambrian Research, 39. pp.311-317.

Further reading

  • Edwards, Hugh Gold dust and iron mountains : Marble Bar & beyond : the story of the Eastern Pilbara Swanbourne, W.A. : H. Edwards, 1993. ISBN 0-646-14570-3 "Produced by the East Pilbara Shire for the centenary of Marble Bar, 1893-1993".
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