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nyanda landscape

Geological Story of Nyanda Station

Nyanda is not only a stunning natural wonderland but also a geological treasure trove. The rocks found on the property offer a glimpse into the deep past, revealing the fascinating history of this ancient land.
 

From towering sandstone cliffs to hidden valleys and winding creeks, Nyanda's landscape tells the story of millions of years of geological change. The ancient rock formations found here have been shaped by a multitude of forces, including volcanic activity, uplift, erosion, and glaciation.

One of the most striking geological features of Nyanda is the Consuelo Tableland, a vast plateau that dominates the property. Today, it provides a unique habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna, including the elusive rock-wallaby.

Whether you're a geology enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, a tour of Nyanda Station is a must-do experience. Our expert guides will take you on a journey through time, exploring the geological wonders that make this property truly unique. Don't miss your chance to witness the breathtaking beauty and geological diversity of Nyanda.

Reid's Dome - Nyanda Station

Reid's Dome is characterised by a 20km long and 5km wide 'dome' that has been eroded through the middle, leaving large uplifted cliffs facing each other

Ancient Origins

& Reid's Dome

300 - 278 Million Years Ago

Much older than the oldest rocks in Carnarvon Gorge, Nyanda's geological origins began during the early Permian period. These Early Permian rocks were created during a period when the area was above sea level, when rivers, streams and billabongs meandered through low-temperature forests and bogs.

The Reid’s Dome beds, some 3000m thick, are characterised by siltstones and shales, interspersed by thin seams of coal and sandstone.  The silts, shales and sandstones were created by soils, clays and sand sediments, the coals by the fallen forests accumulating into peat. 

The Rise of The Sea

278 - 273 Million Years Ago

Around 278 million years ago changes in climate accompanied a rise in sea levels, drowning this area for about 5 million years. The ancient sea was home to corals, crinoids, bryozoan and molluscs. In places, small rivers deposited sand and silt into the sea and some of these sediments are preserved as sandstones that were originally off-shore sand bars that became encased in silt and clay.

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Tectonic Movement & More Sea Level Change

273 Million Years Ago 

Movement of the tectonic plates about 273 million years ago changed the land profile leading to sand washing into the area from streams. Over some 8 million years the sand filled the ancient sea and formed a widespread plain that became the Aldebaran Sandstone. Tectonic activity at the end of this period resulted in the area being uplifted, eroded, and then inundated again by a shallow sea.

The 'Great Dying' Extinction Event

251 Million Years Ago

About 251 million years ago (50 million years earlier than the dinosaurs) the climate changed drastically, going from cold and icy to hot and dry. Over 90% of all species on earth became extinct. The cause of the change is not known, but is unlikely to have been a meteorite. 

It took millions of years for life on earth to recover. This is known to be the largest extinction event in history, changing the course of life on earth forever. 

Extinction

Photo Credit: University of St Andrews

Tectonic movement

Long Period of Uplift

Triassic Period 

During the next geological period (Triassic) a collision of the Australian land mass caused up to 2000m of uplift across this area.  Land that had previously been valleys became mountains and ridges, providing the source of new sediments deposited away from the area during this and later (Jurassic and Cretaceous) periods. 

Fire and Flood

25 Million Years Ago

This process of erosion was halted by volcanic activity about 25 million years ago: lava flooded across the region and hardened into a basalt cap over the rocks beneath. Cracks in the hard cap enabled rivers and streams, such as Consuelo Creek, to cut through and erode.  

The basalt capping has now eroded almost entirely away, however remained on the hills and cliffs around Reid’s Dome for long enough to create their current shape.  These cliffs are the 270 million year old Aldebaran sandstones. The eroded basalt formed the rich black soil plains of the region, and can be seen in the black rocks in the creek. 

Volcanics

Information provided by StateGas 

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