Calwynyardah land system (Clw), size: 1736km2, publication source: wky


Carpentaria land system (Cap), Total area across surveys: 6601km2



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Carpentaria land system (Cap), Total area across surveys: 6601km2,


publication source: NKY, OVC, WKY

Carpentaria was described in three CSIRO land system reports: North Kimberley, Ord-Victoria and West Kimberley.

The general description of the land systems, and in particular the land units, was significantly different in each survey, and in this report no attempt has been made to merge them. The table below correlates the land units between surveys and subsequent pages present the individual land system and land unit descriptions from each survey.

carpentaria land system spans the majority of the coastal region of the kimberley survey. it stretches from broom along the coast to north of kununurra.

Location map showing coverage of Carpentaria land system defined by black region.

Table of surveys in the Carpentaria land system and landform types

North Kimberley

Ord-Victoria

West Kimberley




1 Higher plains mainly along the inland margin of land system  medium

1 Inner slope 8%

3 Small streamline - small




2 Drainage mouths 2%







3 Samphire flats 19%

1 Wet salt flat - medium

2 Moist salt flat - medium

4 Dry salt flat – medium


2 Nearly flat plains – large

4 Mud flats 40%




5 Sand dunes, isolated areas near coast - very small

5 Dunes 2%




3 Slopes and flats adjacent to channels and the coast, submerged at high tide - small

6 Slopes at lower margin of mud flats 18%







7 Outer flats 11%




4 Salt water channels - small




A small area of Carpentaria land system (46km2) was mapped along the east shore of Roebuck Bay near Broome in the Broome (BRM) survey however a detailed land system description was not included in the report. The West Kimberley (WKY) survey land system description should be used for this area.

In addition Carpentaria land system in the West Kimberley and Ord-Victoria surveys has been subdivided based on pastoral productivity into Carpentaria High (Cph) - those areas with grassy pastures and low to moderate pastoral grazing potential, and Carpentaria Low (Cpl) - those areas with bare unproductive mudflats and mangroves of no pastoral grazing potential. These subdivisions are not described in detail in the text of this report but are shown on the land system map. Further information can be obtained from DAFWA. For enquiries see contact details page (i).


Carpentaria land system (Cap), size: 888km2, publication source: NKY


Estuarine flats with mangrove vegetation and saline soils, sparsely distributed near the mouths of the main rivers.

carpentaria land system (for the north kimberley survey) is scattered along the coastal region from about 100km north east of derby for about 450 km north.

Location map showing coverage of Carpentaria land system (for the north Kimberley survey) defined by black region.



State land type: Coastal plains, cliffs, dunes, mudflats and beaches; various vegetation types.

Geology and geomorphology: Depositional plains consisting of saline muds liable to tidal inundation.

Drainage: Dendritic, centrifugal; of variable intensity.

Land management: The system consists largely of unvegetated saline mud flats except for unique fringing mangrove thickets which have high conservation value.

aerial picture of mudflats with mainly shallow water

Image of tidal creeks, bare and vegetated saline mudflats of the Carpentaria land system at Walcott Inlet. Photo: Noel Schoknecht, DAFWA



landscape block diagram with location of different land units drawn to scale.

Stylised block diagram showing location of land units for the Carpentaria land system (for the north Kimberley survey) (numbers on diagram represent land units in table below)

Table of Carpentaria land system – land units, NKY survey area. + Pasture types described in Appendix 1; Note: Proportions and occurrence of pasture types within land units are subject to change over time due to invasion by native and introduced species, seasonal conditions, fire frequency and grazing management.

Unit

Approx.
area
(%)

Landforms

Soils

Vegetation

Pasture type+

1

30

Wet salt flat

Saline muds

Mangroves along sides of estuaries

XXNP

2

30

Moist salt flat

Saline muds

Bare

XXNP

3

10

Small streamline

Saline muds

Mangroves

XXNP

4

30

Dry salt flat

Saline muds

Bare

XXNP

aerial picture of coastline with narrow green coastal areas and mainly brown hilly areas

Image of North Kimberley many areas of Carpentaria land system are narrow and controlled by the jointing pattern of the massive sandstone hills of Buldiva land system. Width of this 2004 aerial photograph taken near the mouth of the Roe River in Prince Frederick Harbour is about 14km. Photo: LandgateCarpentaria land system (Cap), size: 2577km2, publication source: OVC

A discontinuous strip of saline country, with some sand dunes, along the coastline.

carpentaria land system (for the ord-victoria survey) is along the coastline near kununurra for about 150km.

Location map showing coverage of Carpentaria land system (for the Ord-Victoria survey) defined by black region.



State land type: Coastal plains, cliffs, dunes, mudflats and beaches; various vegetation types.

Geology: Quaternary alluvia.

Geomorphology: Coastline plains and estuarine-deltaic plains.

Drainage: Dendritic tidal channels and small streamlines of very variable intensity, some large meandering estuaries; unit 3 is regularly flooded by tidal waters, unit 2 only by highest tides, and unit 1 only by combinations of peak floods and high tides.

Land management: More than 50% of this system consists of unvegetated highly saline plains and flats. About a quarter of the system (unit 1) supports useful littoral pastures of saltwater couch, rice grass and other perennial grasses which are resilient under grazing except in extreme situations where cover is lost and powdery soil surfaces are prone to wind erosion. Mangrove communities have high conservation value.

landscape picture of mudflats with mainly water in the distance and rocky foreground

Image of saline mudflats with mangrove fringes on the margins to the West Arm of Cambridge Gulf, viewed from the Five Rivers Lookout near Wyndham. Photo: Noel Schoknecht, DAFWA



aerial view of the location of land units drawn to scale.

Stylised plan diagram showing arrangement of land units for the Carpentaria land system (for the Ord-Victoria survey) (numbers on diagram represent land units in table below)

Table of Carpentaria land system – land units, OVC survey area. + Pasture types described in Appendix 1; Note: Proportions and occurrence of pasture types within land units are subject to change over time due to invasion by native and introduced species, seasonal conditions, fire frequency and grazing management.

Unit

Approx.
area
(%)

Landforms

Soils

Vegetation

Pasture type+

1

27

Higher plains mainly along the inland margin of the land system

Mainly Flapper - grey sandy loam over mottled clay; some Legune - grey cracking clay.

Saline soil short grass (Xerochloa imberbis, Sporobolus virginicus).

LITP

2

50

Nearly flat plains

Carpentaria - highly saline clays.

Bare mud or samphire.

XXNP 90%
SMPP 10%

3

10

Slopes and flats adjacent to channels and coast, submerged at high tide

Carpentaria - highly saline clays.

Mangroves

XXNP

4

10

Salt-water channels







XXNP

5

3

Sand dunes, isolated small areas near the coast

Coastal sand dunes Carpentaria - deep yellow-grey sands.

Sand-dune vegetation.

OTHP

landscape picture of tidal flats with rocky foreground and sandy flats

Image overlooking the tidal flats of Carpentaria land system to an impressive expression of Weaber land system called “The Needles”. Cape Dommett in the north-east Kimberley. Photo: Noel Schoknecht, DAFWA




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