Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Far North Queensland
Far North Queensland is the northernmost part of the state of Queensland, Australia. Centered on the city of Cairns, the region stretches north to the Torres Strait, west to the Gulf Country; the region has Australia's only international border, with the independent nation of Papua New Guinea. The region is home to three World Heritage Sites, the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics of Queensland and Riversleigh, Australia's largest fossil mammal site. Far North Queensland lays claim to over 70 national parks, including Mount Bartle Frere; the Far North region is the only region of Australia, home to both the Aboriginal Australians and the Torres Strait Islanders. Far North Queensland supports a significant agricultural sector, a number of significant mines and is home to Queensland's largest wind farm, the Windy Hill Wind Farm. Various government departments and agencies have different definitions for the region; the Queensland Government department of Trade and Investment Queensland defines the region as an area comprising the following 25 local government areas.
The main population and administrative centre of the region is the city of Cairns. Other key population centres include Cooktown, the Atherton Tableland, Weipa and the Torres Strait Islands; the region consists of many Aboriginal and farming groups. The northeastern point of Highway 1 passes through the region in the city of Cairns and connects the southern-running Bruce Highway to the western-running Savannah Way. Highway 1 circumnavigates the continent at a length of 14,500 kilometres and is the second-longest national highway in the world after the Pan-American Highway. Despite being Highway 1, not all sections of the Savannah Way are designated as a federally funded National Highway and certain sections remain unsealed. Significant industries include tourism, cattle grazing and mining of both sand and bauxite. Agricultural products generate between $600 and $700 million a year. Sugar cane, tropical fruits including bananas, papaya and coffee are grown in Far North Queensland; the region is home to the world's biggest silica mine at Cape Flattery.
The mine was established in 1967 and was damaged by Cyclone Ita in 2014. Rio Tinto Alcan operates a bauxite mine on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula near Weipa which contains one of the largest bauxite deposits in the world. In recent years, Far North Queensland has become known for its artistic and creative offerings, with the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns Festival both held annually. Active arts organisation include the Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns Civic Theatre, Cairns Art Gallery; the region supports a large tourism industry and is considered a premier tourist destination in Australia. Nearly one third of international visitors to the state come to the region. Attractions include the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and other Queensland tropical rain forests within the Wet Tropics of Queensland heritage area, the Atherton Tableland, Hinchinbrook Island and other resort islands such as Dunk Island and Green Island. Major attractions around and in Cairns include The Reef Hotel Casino, Kuranda Scenic Railway, Barron Falls and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Towns and localities attracting large numbers of tourists include Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, Mission Beach and Cardwell. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates the region's population at 280,638 in 2014; the region contains 25.6% of the state's Indigenous population, or 28,909 people, making up 11.8% of the region's population. Far North Queensland is the location of the first amber fossils to be found in Australia; the four-million-year-old fossils were found on a beach in Cape York Peninsula but were washed ashore after drifting with the currents for about 200 km. In the 1860s, Richard Daintree discovered gold and copper deposits along several rivers which led early prospectors to the area; the region suffered Queensland's worst maritime disaster on 4 March 1899 when the Mahina Cyclone destroyed all 100 ships moored in Princess Charlotte Bay. The entire North Queensland pearling fleet was in the bay at the time of the cyclone. 100 Aboriginals assisting survivors and 307 men from the pearling fleet were drowned.
Its pressure was measured at 914 hPa with a recorded tidal surge of 13 m, the highest in Australia. The 1918 Mackay cyclone hit the Queensland coast in January of that year. In March 1997, Cyclone Justin resulted in the deaths of seven people. In early 2000, Cyclone Steve caused major flooding between Mareeba. Cyclone Larry crossed the Queensland coast near Innisfail in March 2006; the storm damaged 10,000 homes. 80% of Australia's banana crop was destroyed. Cyclone Monica was the most intense cyclone on record in terms of wind speed to cross the Australian coast, it impacted the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland in April 2006. In January 2011, Cyclone Yasi passed over Tully and resulted in an estimated $3.6 billion worth of damage, making it the costliest cyclone to hit Australia. The name Tropical North Queensland is sometimes used to refer to the region. However, the phrase is ambiguous and may be used to name a wider area including parts of North Queensland, or Mackay. Proposal for a new state of North
A storm surge, storm flood, tidal surge or storm tide is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water associated with low pressure weather systems, the severity of, affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, as well as the timing of tides. Most casualties during tropical cyclones occur, it is a measure of the rise of water beyond what would be expected by the normal movement related to tides. The two main meteorological factors contributing to a storm surge are a long fetch of winds spiraling inward toward the storm, a low-pressure-induced dome of water drawn up under and trailing the storm's center; the deadliest storm surge on record was the 1970 Bhola cyclone, which killed up to 500,000 people in the area of the Bay of Bengal. The low-lying coast of the Bay of Bengal is vulnerable to surges caused by tropical cyclones; the deadliest storm surge in the twenty-first century was caused by the Cyclone Nargis, which killed more than 138,000 people in Myanmar in May 2008.
The next deadliest in this century was caused by the Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people in the central Philippines in 2013 and resulted in economic losses estimated at $14 billion. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900, a Category 4 hurricane that struck Galveston, drove a devastating surge ashore; the highest storm tide noted in historical accounts was produced by the 1899 Cyclone Mahina, estimated at 44 ft at Bathurst Bay, but research published in 2000 concluded that the majority of this was wave run-up because of the steep coastal topography. In the United States, one of the greatest recorded storm surges was generated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which produced a maximum storm surge of more than 25 ft in southern Mississippi, with a storm surge height of 27.8 ft in Pass Christian. Another record storm surge occurred in this same area from Hurricane Camille in 1969, with a storm tide of 24.6 ft at Pass Christian. A storm surge of 14 ft occurred in New York City during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
At least five processes can be involved in altering tide levels during storms: The atmospheric pressure effect The direct wind effect The effect of the Earth's rotation The effect of waves near the shore The rainfall effect. The pressure effects of a tropical cyclone will cause the water level in the open ocean to rise in regions of low atmospheric pressure and fall in regions of high atmospheric pressure; the rising water level will counteract the low atmospheric pressure such that the total pressure at some plane beneath the water surface remains constant. This effect is estimated at a 10 mm increase in sea level for every millibar drop in atmospheric pressure. Strong surface winds cause surface currents at a 45° angle to the wind direction, by an effect known as the Ekman Spiral. Wind stresses cause a phenomenon referred to as "wind set-up", the tendency for water levels to increase at the downwind shore and to decrease at the upwind shore. Intuitively, this is caused by the storm blowing the water toward one side of the basin in the direction of its winds.
Because the Ekman Spiral effects spread vertically through the water, the effect is proportional to depth. The pressure effect and the wind set-up on an open coast will be driven into bays in the same way as the astronomical tide; the Earth's rotation causes the Coriolis effect, which bends currents to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. When this bend brings the currents into more perpendicular contact with the shore, it can amplify the surge, when it bends the current away from the shore it has the effect of lessening the surge; the effect of waves, while directly powered by the wind, is distinct from a storm's wind-powered currents. Powerful wind whips up strong waves in the direction of its movement. Although these surface waves are responsible for little water transport in open water, they may be responsible for significant transport near the shore; when waves are breaking on a line more or less parallel to the beach, they carry considerable water shoreward.
As they break, the water particles moving toward the shore have considerable momentum and may run up a sloping beach to an elevation above the mean water line, which may exceed twice the wave height before breaking. The rainfall effect is experienced predominantly in estuaries. Hurricanes may dump as much as 12 in of rainfall in 24 hours over large areas and higher rainfall densities in localized areas; as a result, surface runoff can flood Streams and rivers. This can increase the water level near the head of tidal estuaries as storm-driven waters surging in from the ocean meet rainfall flowing downstream into the estuary. In addition to the above processes and wave heights on shore are affected by the flow of water over the underlying topography, i.e. the configuration and bathymetry of the ocean bottom and affected coastal area. A narrow shelf, for example, or one that has a steep drop from the shoreline and subsequently produces deep water in proximity to the shoreline, tends to produce a lower surge but a higher and more powerful wave.
This situation is well exemplified by the southeast coast of Florida. The edge of the Floridian Plateau, where the water depths reach 91 metres, lies just 3,000 m offshore of Palm Beach; the 180 m depth contour followed southward from Palm Beach County
A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is called a gulf, sound, or bight. A cove is a type of smaller bay with narrow entrance. A fjord is a steep bay shaped by glacial activity. A bay can be the estuary of a river, such as the Chesapeake Bay, an estuary of the Susquehanna River. Bays may be nested within each other; some large bays, such as the Bay of Bengal and Hudson Bay, have varied marine geology. The land surrounding a bay reduces the strength of winds and blocks waves. Bays were significant in the history of human settlement because they provided safe places for fishing, they were important in the development of sea trade as the safe anchorage they provide encouraged their selection as ports. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea called the Law of the Sea, defines a bay as a well-marked indentation whose penetration is in such proportion to the width of its mouth as to contain land-locked waters and constitute more than a mere curvature of the coast.
An indentation shall not, however, be regarded as a bay unless its area is as large as, or larger than, that of the semi-circle whose diameter is a line drawn across the mouth of that indentation. There are various ways; the largest bays have developed through plate tectonics. As the super-continent Pangaea broke up along curved and indented fault lines, the continents moved apart and left large bays. Bays form through coastal erosion by rivers and glaciers. A bay formed by a glacier is a fjord. Rias are characterised by more gradual slopes. Deposits of softer rocks erode more forming bays, while harder rocks erode less leaving headlands. Bay platform Great capes Headlands and bays
Lakefield is a locality in the Shire of Cook, Australia. In the 2011 census, Lakefield had a population of 184 people. Lakefield is on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula. Lakefield Road runs through the locality from the south-east to the north-west with connections via the Endeavour Battle Camp Road to Laura and the Peninsula Developmental Road to the south-west and to Cooktown to the south-east; the Normanby River, North Kennedy River, Hann River, Annie River, many other creeks and rivers join as they flow to the northern coast of Lakefield to the Coral Sea, creating many lakes. The Lakefield National Park is within Lakefield. Lakeland has a number of heritage-listed sites, including: Lakefield National Park: Old Laura Homestead Media related to Lakefield, Queensland at Wikimedia Commons
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres over an area of 344,400 square kilometres. The reef is located off the coast of Queensland, Australia; the Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps, it supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world; the Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, dumping of dredging sludge and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.
According to a study published in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985. The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, is an important part of local groups' cultures and spirituality; the reef is a popular destination for tourists in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating over AUD$3 billion per year. In November 2014, Google launched Google Underwater Street View in 3D of the Great Barrier Reef. A March 2016 report stated that coral bleaching was more widespread than thought affecting the northern parts of the reef as a result of warming ocean temperatures. In October 2016, Outside published an obituary for the reef. In March 2017, the journal Nature published a paper showing that huge sections of an 800-kilometre stretch in the northern part of the reef had died in the course of 2016 due to high water temperatures, an event that the authors put down to the effects of global climate change.
The Great Barrier Reef is a distinct feature of the East Australian Cordillera division. It reaches from Torres Strait in the north to the unnamed passage between Lady Elliot Island and Fraser Island in the south. Lady Elliot Island is located 1,915 km southeast of Bramble Cay, it includes the smaller Murray Islands. The plate tectonic theory indicates Australia has moved northwards at a rate of 7 cm per year, starting during the Cenozoic. Eastern Australia experienced a period of tectonic uplift, which moved the drainage divide in Queensland 400 km inland. During this time, Queensland experienced volcanic eruptions leading to central and shield volcanoes and basalt flows; some of these became high islands. After the Coral Sea Basin formed, coral reefs began to grow in the Basin, but until about 25 million years ago, northern Queensland was still in temperate waters south of the tropics—too cool to support coral growth; the Great Barrier Reef's development history is complex. Reefs can increase in diameter by 1 to 3 centimetres per year, grow vertically anywhere from 1 to 25 cm per year.
When Queensland edged into tropical waters 24 million years ago, some coral grew, but a sedimentation regime developed with erosion of the Great Dividing Range. 10 million years ago, the sea level lowered, which further enabled sedimentation. The reef's substrate may have needed to build up from the sediment until its edge was too far away for suspended sediments to inhibit coral growth. In addition 400,000 years ago there was a warm interglacial period with higher sea levels and a 4 °C water temperature change; the land that formed the substrate of the current Great Barrier Reef was a coastal plain formed from the eroded sediments of the Great Dividing Range with some larger hills. The Reef Research Centre, a Cooperative Research Centre, has found coral'skeleton' deposits that date back half a million years; the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority considers the earliest evidence of complete reef structures to have been 600,000 years ago. According to the GBRMPA, the current, living reef structure is believed to have begun growing on the older platform about 20,000 years ago.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science agrees, placing the beginning of the growth of the current reef at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum. At around that time, sea level was 120 metres lower. From 20,000 years ago until 6,000 years ago, sea level rose around the world; as it rose, the corals could grow higher on the newly submerged maritime margins of the hills of the coastal plain. By around 13,000 years ago the sea level was only 60 metres lower than the present day, corals began to surround the hills of the coastal plain, which were, by continental islands; as the sea level rose further still, most of
A tropical cyclone is a rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. "Cyclone" refers to their winds moving in a circle, whirling round their central clear eye, with their winds blowing counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The opposite direction of circulation is due to the Coriolis effect. Tropical cyclones form over large bodies of warm water, they derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which recondenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation.
This energy source differs from that of mid-latitude cyclonic storms, such as nor'easters and European windstorms, which are fueled by horizontal temperature contrasts. Tropical cyclones are between 100 and 2,000 km in diameter; the strong rotating winds of a tropical cyclone are a result of the conservation of angular momentum imparted by the Earth's rotation as air flows inwards toward the axis of rotation. As a result, they form within 5° of the equator. Tropical cyclones are unknown in the South Atlantic due to a strong wind shear and a weak Intertropical Convergence Zone; the African easterly jet and areas of atmospheric instability which give rise to cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, along with the Asian monsoon and Western Pacific Warm Pool, are features of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia. Coastal regions are vulnerable to the impact of a tropical cyclone, compared to inland regions; the primary energy source for these storms is warm ocean waters, therefore these forms are strongest when over or near water, weaken quite over land.
Coastal damage may be caused by strong winds and rain, high waves, storm surges, the potential of spawning tornadoes. Tropical cyclones draw in air from a large area—which can be a vast area for the most severe cyclones—and concentrate the precipitation of the water content in that air into a much smaller area; this continual replacement of moisture-bearing air by new moisture-bearing air after its moisture has fallen as rain, which may cause heavy rain and river flooding up to 40 kilometres from the coastline, far beyond the amount of water that the local atmosphere holds at any one time. Though their effects on human populations are devastating, tropical cyclones can relieve drought conditions, they carry heat energy away from the tropics and transport it toward temperate latitudes, which may play an important role in modulating regional and global climate. Tropical cyclones are areas of low pressure in the troposphere, with the largest pressure perturbations occurring at low altitudes near the surface.
On Earth, the pressures recorded at the centers of tropical cyclones are among the lowest observed at sea level. The environment near the center of tropical cyclones is warmer than the surroundings at all altitudes, thus they are characterized as "warm core" systems; the near-surface wind field of a tropical cyclone is characterized by air rotating around a center of circulation while flowing radially inwards. At the outer edge of the storm, air may be nearly calm; as air flows radially inward, it begins to rotate cyclonically in order to conserve angular momentum. At an inner radius, air begins to ascend to the top of the troposphere; this radius is coincident with the inner radius of the eyewall, has the strongest near-surface winds of the storm. Once aloft, air flows away from the storm's center; the mentioned processes result in a wind field, nearly axisymmetric: Wind speeds are low at the center, increase moving outwards to the radius of maximum winds, decay more with radius to large radii.
However, the wind field exhibits additional spatial and temporal variability due to the effects of localized processes, such as thunderstorm activity and horizontal flow instabilities. In the vertical direction, winds are strongest near the surface and decay with height within the troposphere. At the center of a mature tropical cyclone, air sinks rather than rises. For a sufficiently strong storm, air may sink over a layer deep enough to suppress cloud formation, thereby creating a clear "eye". Weather in the eye is calm and free of clouds, although the sea may be violent; the eye is circular in shape, is 30–65 km in diameter, though eyes as small as 3 km and as large as 370 km have been observed. The cloudy outer edge of the eye is called the "eyewall"; the eyewall expands outward with height, resembling an arena foo