Bungle Bungle Range, Australia

1 comment

The Bungle Bungle Range, in Purnululu National Park, is one of the most fascinating geological landmarks in Western Australia. The range features distinctive beehive-shaped sandstone towers and conglomerates alternately striped in orange and black bands. The rocks rises up to 578 metres above sea level, and stand 200 to 300 metres above a woodland and grass-covered plain, with steep cliffs on the western face. From an airplane, the Bungle Bungle Range is an imposing sight.

The sedimentary rocks of Bungle Bungle were formed in the Ord Basin 375 to 350 million years ago, when active faults were altering the landscape. The combined effects of wind from the Tanami Desert and rainfall over millions of years shaped the domes. Although the formation appears solid, the sandstone is extremely fragile. The weight of overlying rock holds the sand grains in place, but when this is removed, the sandstones are easily eroded. The rounded tops reflect this lack of internal strength. Water flowing over the surface will exploit any weaknesses or irregularities in the rock, such as cracks or joints, and rapidly erodes the narrow channels that separate the towers.


Photo credit

One of the most obvious features of the sandstones is the alternating orange and black or grey banding. The darker bands consist of permeable layers of rock, which allow water to move through with ease. Water keeps the rock surface moist allowing dark algae to grow on them. The less permeable layers in between are covered with a patina of iron and manganese staining, creating the orange bands. These outer coatings help to protect the lower parts of the towers from erosion.

A 7 km diameter circular topographic feature is clearly visible on satellite images of the Bungle Bungle Range. It is believed that this feature is the eroded remnant of a very ancient meteorite impact crater that probably hit the area some 250 million years ago. This structure is famously known as the Piccaninny impact crater.


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit


Photo credit

Sources: Government of Western Australia, Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. The Bungle Bungle Range. You must think we're a bunch of idiots.


Amusing Planet appreciates your comments, except when they are SPAM. Such comments will be deleted immediately before they appear on this page. Spamming is futile, so please avoid.

To ensure that this page is free of spam, all comments are moderated, so it may take a while for your comments to appear.

Feel free to discuss or criticize this article, but if you have issues or complaints with this website, or the contents of this page, please email the website administrator at admin@amusingplanet.com.

This is NOT the place to address your grievances.