Ayers Rock Facts

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Last One Standing Ayers Rock, or Uluru, is found in central Australia in the Northern Territory. Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, it has been designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. ("Uluru-Kata Tjuta National," 2009) The site itself is sacred to the Anagu Aboriginal people of the area. “…the rock domes located west of Uluru, form part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies in the world.” ("Uluru-Kata Tjuta National," 2009) Ayers Rock is considered to be the world’s second largest monolith. ("Ayers Rock Facts," 2009) Actually, it is merely the visible tip of a massive underground rock slab. ("Ayers Rock Facts," 2009) It is 2,831…show more content…
While one might ask how water erosion can be so prevalent in the desert, it is important to note that like many Australian deserts, the area receives a surprisingly high amount of rain, about 200-250 millimeters a year. ("Ayers Rock Facts," 2009) It is believed that the mountain chains that once included Ayers Rock were as large as the surrounding peaks. Now, there is just one remaining piece of this long lost chain. Wind and water took an enormous toll on the surface of the area. When one considers other major mountain chains, and is informed that they were once much larger, it is hard to grasp the concept due to the fact that the mountains still exist, and are fairly large in their current state. However, when one is told to look upon a flat plane and that there once stood towering peaks, it really allows the viewer to grasp the concept and force of change that can be caused by millions of years of rain and…show more content…
This movement changed the layer composition and even the direction of the layers that form Ayers Rock. ("Geology," 2008) Information about this movement is more difficult to locate than the Petermann Orogeny, but the impact is clear. The Alice Springs Orogeny was an intraplate contraction which changed the face of central Australia. It occurred approximately 300 million years ago. ("Geology," 2008) It resulted in the folding of the area and shortened the north/south length of the area by about 8.7 miles. (Jaritz, 2008) “Kata Tjuta, near the end line of this bulldozing movement, was tilted only by15 degrees. But Uluru was rotated and almost tipped over at a steep angle close to 90 degrees.” (Jaritz, 2008) The near vertical sediment layers evident within the formation of Ayers Rock are due to this major earth movement. The continuing formation of Ayers Rock occurred slowly after the Alice Springs Orogeny. About 65 million year ago, the climate of the area had become extremely wet, and this brought river sand, swamp deposits, and small traces of coal to the area. ("Geology," 2008) “Only during the past 500,000 years has the climate become drier and a thin blanket of windblown sand covered the sediments.” ("Geology,"
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