Lake Urana – field trip

Lake Urana Panorama from Western Cliffs

On 16 May 2019, 26 of us, including our leader Tony Dare-Edwards, went on a field trip to Lake Urana.  Lake Urana is 65 km2 in area and is a typical Pleistocene-age, dry lake with similar morphology to Lake Mungo and Lake Tyrell to the west.  Such lakes are common across the Murray Basin and preserve in their morphology evidence of past climates and Aboriginal occupation. Their climates were distinctly different from the present day and their occupation histories stretch back thousands of years.

Our field trip visited several sites which illustrated the geomorphological, geological, and human history of the lake. With agreement of the Federation Council, we visited the site of the proposed Heritage Centre where a 25,000-year-old burial of an Aboriginal woman was recovered in the 1990s; the western cliff line of the lake; the beach and lunette on the eastern shoreline; and a Pliocene-age gravel exposed in a quarry. Discussion at each of the sites complemented the material presented in Tony’s lecture prior to the field trip.

Tony Dare-Edwards has a teaching/research background in paleopedology (old soils) and Quaternary science (history and development of the landscape over the last 2 million years).

As well as leading the trip, Tony had put in considerable preparation work (including three trips to Urana and organising to know where the key to a gate would be hidden); Gordon Murray drove the bus; Marg Sutherland who (together with Daph Carswell, Peter Griffin, Ian Robertson and Laurene Mulcahy) did much of the organisation (including working their way through insurance requirements and getting all necessary permissions); Urana Mayor Pat Bourke (who unfortunately could not attend) had gone to a lot of trouble to organise things from the Urana end; Pat Dare-Edwards and Helen Bell provided food. Thank you everybody.

We also have a short video that can be found here.

A slideshow of the trip can be found here.

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