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Cairlocup area, Western Australia

Harper, R.J. and Gilkes, R.J. (2003) Cairlocup area, Western Australia. In: Anand, R.R. and de Broekert, P., (eds.) Regolith Landscape Evolution Across Australia: A compilation of regolith-landscape case studies and landscape evolution models. Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration (CRC LEME).

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The Cairlocup area is situated about 400 km southeast of Perth in the southern wheatbelt of Western Australia (centre point 33°43’30”S, 118°47’30”E), at the southern extremity of the Swan–Avon Drainage System, which flows into the Indian Ocean near Perth. It comprises 5 200 ha, with the southern boundary adjacent to the Jarrahwood axis (Cope, 1975), a line that separates regional northerly and southerly drainage (Figure 1). The area occurs on the NEWDEGATE (SH50-8) 1:250 000 map sheet.

The Cairlocup area is beset by various forms of land degradation and was studied primarily in order to relate the distribution of land degradation to landscape processes and hence also the distribution of soil parent materials (Harper, 1994; Harper and Gilkes, 1994a, b, c). This geomorphic framework has subsequently been used to provide an indication of the distribution of soil potassium (Wong and Harper, 1999) and soil carbon fluxes (Harper and Gilkes, 2001), an important consideration in managing global warming.

The study required the development of a soil–landscape model, which also has relevance for mineral exploration, particularly for techniques that are influenced by variations in properties of surficial materials. An overview of this soil landscape model is presented here.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments and Mineral Exploration (CRC LEME)
Copyright: © CRC LEME 2003
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