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Celebrating Rivers


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About Rivers

The simplified version... see hydrology or geomorphology texts for the full version!

Rivers: Contents

Oz Rivers

The continent is divided into 12 drainage divisions: Gulf of Carpentaria, Northeast Coast, Southeast Coast, Tasmanian, South Australian Gulf, Murray-Darling, Bulloo-Bancannia, Lake Eyre, Western Plateau, Southwest Coast, Indian Ocean and Timor Sea Drainage Divisions.

Australia is the driest continent, so rivers are precious. The low rainfall over most of the continent means that rivers are often dry. Water is extracted from the groundwater stored in the Great Artesian Basin in these areas. Rivers in the northern tropics have large flood flows during the wet season but little flow for the rest of the year. The Great Dividing Range forms the catchment boundary parallel and close to the coast for permanent rivers in the east coast drainage divisions.

1. EastCoast Drainage basins

Brisbane River

The Brisbane River drainage basin of the northeast drainage division is my bioregion. The river drains a basin about 200km long by 100km wide. The catchment is formed by the Great Divide on the west and the D'Aguilar Range on the east. The river flows around the end of the D'Aguilar range before heading north again into Moreton Bay and the Pacfic Ocean. It has four main branches: the Upper Brisbane, Stanley, and Bremer Rivers and Lockyer Creek. There are 7 dams built in the catchment, the largest being Lake Wivenhoe on the main channel. The river is tidal up to 90km upstream.

Brisbane City is on the lower reaches of the river which meanders through the central city as well as the suburbs. The river defines inner city layout and is widely used for transport and recreation. Although the banks are heavily modified with walls and road construction, mangroves are gradually recolonising the waterline.

Brisbane River photos are by Chani Martin

 Merrivale Bridge, Brisbane

The Merrivale Bridge, only completed in 1978, connects northside and southside rail systems. The river has physically and socially divided the population into northsiders and southsiders.

 Brisbane City, Qld, Oz

City Reach, showing the Monolith, a building which worries us. It houses all sorts of weirdos who are no doubt 'up to no good', like Microsoft and Senators.

 Victoria Bridge & riverside expressway, Brisbane

Victoria Bridge & Riverside Expressway (Captain Cook Bridge). The expressway is a barrier between the river and the western side of the CBD. We loved cars, not the river, in the seventies.

 Story Bridge, Brisbane

Story Bridge and City Reach. The Bridge, opened in 1940, is built from the cut bank to the point bar and ridge of Kangaroo Point. In summer, yachts shelter here from cyclones on the Great Barrier Reef.

Snowy River

Snowy  River, NSW, Oz
The Snowy River close to its source near Mt Koscuiosco, the highest point in Australia. The last remaining snow in midsummer is still melting to create the river. The river is heavily modified by the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme further downstream

Snowy  River bog, NSW, Oz
The Snowy River runs through boggy areas and fields of wildflowers in summer.

2. Murray - Darling Basin

The Murray-Darling is the fourth longest river in the world (5,251km). It has a drainage basin of 1,072,260 sq. km which drains much of southern Queensland, New South Wales, northern Victoria and South Australia.

Severin  River, NSW, Oz
The Severin River, near Ashford in Northern New South Wales. The river runs through a gorge of granite boulders at this point, just above its confluence with the McIntyre River. The McIntyre and Severin Rivers flow to the Dumaresq River and are part of the Murray-Darling Basin

McIntyre River, NSW, Oz
The McIntyre River, near Ashford in Northern New South Wales. This tranquil stretch is just above the McIntyre Falls.

Paroo River, Qld, Oz
The Paroo River at Eulo, in South West Queensland. A great campsite, on the way to the Yowah opal fields. The Paroo is part of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Murrumbidgee River, NSW, Oz
The Murrumbidgee River at Bredbo, in New South Wales. The river flow in these upper reaches is regulated by the Snowy Mountains Hydro scheme. It is used for irrigation further downstream. The Murrumbidgee eventually flows into the Murray River.

3. Lake Eyre Basin

Lake Eyre drainage basin rivers flow into Lake Eyre in South Australia, not the sea. Most of the rivers are intermittent, dry most of the time. When they are in flood, vast inland lakes form. The Channel Country in south-west Qld is part of this semi-desert landscape.

diamantina river
The Diamantina River in Central Western Queensland has a braided channel. It flows into the Cooper Creek and from there to Lake Eyre.

Cooper Creek, Qld, Oz
Cooper Creek, near Windorah, in South West Queensland. This bridge is over the main channel, but is surrounded by many minor channels and islands. The channels are mostly dry but fill every few years. Cooper Creek is part of the Lake Eyre drainage basin.

Cooper Ck island
An island in the main channel of Cooper Creek.

Rivers: Contents

Links to other sites on Rivers

International Rivers Network

(Australian) Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation

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