Evolution of drainage patterns on Cape York Peninsula, northeast Queensland

Forsyth, A., and Nott, J. (2003) Evolution of drainage patterns on Cape York Peninsula, northeast Queensland. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50 (2). pp. 145-155.

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Abstract

Drainage patterns along passive continental margins are often hypothesised to be the result of drainage disruption following highland uplift and downwarping of the highland flank. Several studies of stream catchments throughout southeast Australia have demonstrated that the opposite tends to be the case in this region because the field evidence favours stream and continental drainage-divide stability. While significant advances have been made towards understanding this phenomenon in the southeastern corner of the continent, little is known of the evolution of streams and highlands in northeast Australia. Our study examines palaeochannels and fluvial sedimentary units close to the continental drainage divide in six stream catchments along the length of Cape York Peninsula. The results show that four of the catchments (Barron-Mitchell and Stewart-Holroyd) have experienced continental divide and drainage stability, whereas the Pascoe-Wenlock system appears to have experienced westward migration of the continental drainage divide and diversion of the Pascoe River. River diversion here is likely to be a result of the raising of base-level and flooding of stream channels during the Cretaceous marine transgression and subsequent stream incision by the Pascoe River along structural weaknesses in the underlying strata, following cessation of marine conditions.

Item ID: 4420
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Cape York Peninsula; drainage evolution; eastern highlands; passive continental margin; Queensland
ISSN: 1440-0952
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2009 23:08
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology @ 34%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040699 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960909 Mountain and High Country Land and Water Management @ 100%
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