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The Walpole-Nornalup Inlets System, Western Australia: A case study of a potential estuarine geopark

Brocx, M. and Semeniuk, V. (2019) The Walpole-Nornalup Inlets System, Western Australia: A case study of a potential estuarine geopark. International Journal of Geoheritage and Parks, 7 (4). pp. 153-181.

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Unlike other estuaries Nationally in Australia, the Walpole-Nornalup Inlets is unique complex twin-basin ria estuary in the most humid part of Western Australia. The estuary fronts the oceanographically-dynamic Southern Ocean and, with the high annual rainfall, it provides a range of estuarine landforms, estuarine peripheral wetlands, a dynamic sand barrier that records climate changes and, with its microtidal setting, it provides examples of complex riverine-to-marine dynamics such as intra-basinal gyring. A range of geological to estuarine features that are of geoheritage significance and available for exploration and explanation as geotrails include: (1) the Precambrian geology, (2) the stratigraphy of the Cainozoic Werillup Formation, (3) Cainozoic weathering, sedimentation, and climate history, with a very wet climate to produce erosionally-resistant quartz grain lags, (4) Cainozoic to Quaternary formation of a rock tombolo, (5) the complex estuarine shorelines and history, and (6) complex estuarine processes and history. As an ensemble of geological and other natural history features, Walpole-Nornalup Inlets system also provides a case study of a systematic approach, using the Geoheritage Tool-kit, of identifying and evaluating different natural values. This forms the foundation for to baseline monitoring (for environmental management) and tourism to explore through geological time the natural history of this geologically and biologically rich location.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2020 Beijing Normal University.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 14: Life Below Water
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