|List||World Heritage List|
|Legal Status||Declared property (30/10/1981)|
|Place File No||1/05/360/0002|
|Statement of Significance|
official statement of Outstanding Universal Value see the UNESCO site http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/167
The Willandra Lakes Region occupies some 3,600 square
kilometre of semiarid rangelands, and consists of a system of now dry lakes
situated in the Murray Basin in south western New South Wales. When last full,
over 15,000 years ago, the lakes had a surface area of over 1,000 kilometre
squared, represented an important source of water and supported food resources
for early man. |
At present the place consists of six large and many smaller vegetated dry lake basins in a dunefield, stabilised by mallee vegetation. Mallee and spinifex are the dominant vegetation communities supported within the area. The land is level at about 70m above sea level (ASL) and generally featureless. Slight depressions along the riverine plains of Willandra Creek and anabranches on the south-west corner of the Cobar Peneplain support some trees. The lake basins themselves consist of large, shallow, subelliptical depressions with their long axes oriented in a north/west to south/east direction. All have an irregular western margin often marked by a steep escarpment and a smooth crescentic eastern shoreline marked by a transverse dune or lunette. The lake beds at the downstream end of the system commonly show the development of smaller basins within larger basins, forming lake floor terraces. This would have occurred late in the history of the lakes.
The fauna of the region is typical of semiarid country, and includes twenty two mammal species (five introduced).
The Willandra region has become the most important site in Australia for multidisciplinary Quaternary studies.
1) Quaternary environments: important for understanding how nonglaciated regions were effected by major climatic fluctuations due to the waxing and waning of the northern hemisphere ice sheets. The geologic fork in the Willandra Lakes is of value to the reconstruction of the nature and causes of climatic fluctuations of the Pleistocene age and in elucidating the environments produced by these fluctuations.
2) Early man sites: this area has become one of the prime sites for archaeological work in Australia dealing with Pleistocene populations. The geological work done in close association with archaeological work has proved invaluable in helping to assess evidence obtained and in elucidating environments where populations existed.
3) Geological yardstick: this area is very important as a modern or near modern deposition and soil formation where much is known of the climate and physiography of the region, the origin of the sediments and the time and longevity of their deposition. It allows detailed sedimentalogical studies to be used as a geological yardstick comparison with ancient sediments to understand their depositional environments and processes.
|History Not Available|
|Condition and Integrity Not Available|
About 240,000ha, 35km north east of Robinvale,
located in the Murray Darling Basin
in south western New South Wales,
comprising the revised boundary as endorsed by the World
Heritage Committee in 1995. The revised boundary is
a reduced area of that originally inscribed into the World Heritage List in
Bowler, M. J. and Thorne, A.G. (1976) 'Human remains from Lake Mungo:
Discovery and excavation of Lake Mungo III' in The Origin of the Australians, eds R. L. Kirk and A. G. Thorne Australian Institute of
Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.
Flood, J. M. A. (1983) Archaeology of the Dreamtime, Collins.
Fox, A.. (1992) Mungo National Park, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Broken Hill.
Mulvaney, D. J. (1975) The Prehistory of Australia, Penguin.
White, J. P.and O'Connell, J. F. (1982) A Prehistory of Australia, New Guinea and Sahul, Academic Press.
Report Produced Sun Jul 13 08:03:08 2014