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Great Victoria Desert Information

   

The Great Victoria Desert is a vast sand dune and sand plain desert, and the largest in Australia. Its area is shared equally by the States of South and Western Australia, north of the Nullarbor Plain and south of the Musgrave Ranges, and is bounded on the west by Laverton and the goldfields and to the east by Mabel Creek Station west of Coober Pedy and the Stuart Highway. The desert was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer Ernest Giles in 1875, and is the largest sand dune desert in Australia. Its dunes trend east west, and aside from the major palaeodrainage basin at Serpentine Lakes it has no major watercourses. Save for a few vehicle tracks, this vast wilderness is virtually untouched by man. The internatonal significance of the Unnamed Conservation Park that lies on the South Australian side of the desert was recognised in 1977 when it was proclaimed a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is one of the larges arid zone biospheres in the world.

Sandplains and dunefields are the dominant landform, forming the southern part of the anticyclonic whorl of dunes that include the Simpson and Great Sandy Deserts. The dunes are longitudinal, from 5-20 metres in height and can run for up to 100kms. Salt lakes are another feature of the desert, the best known are the Serpentine Lakes, other lake systems are the Nurrari and Wyola Lakes, Lakes Maurice and Bring, and Plumridge Lakes and Yeo Lakes in Western Australia.

There are numerous stony rises and breakaways on the north west edge of the desert, and the Musgrave, Mann, Tomlinson and Everard Ranges contain it to the north. To the south is the vast limestone Nullarbor Plain, and to the south east Tietkins Plain and the Ooldea dunefields.

 
 
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    Nuclear tests were conducted by the British government in the Great Victoria Desert more...  
 

 

 
 
       
     
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