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Stuart Creek

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Impressed Eucalyptus spp. leaf in silcrete discoverd along the first ridge near the old Stuart Creek ruins Large clipper ants are common Desert or rock armour/pavement covers most of the palaeochannel.  Desert armour forms by repeated wing action removing all the fine grained material leaving the lag behind which can become cemented by groundwater fluids such as silica.  Beneath the 1 to 2 stone depth lag a thin layer of fine sediments is usually preserved Venefacts or yardangs are rocks that have been shaped by the continuous action of the wind.  The wind which entrails fine sediments acts as a sandblaster which slowly erodes and shapes surfaces over a period of time.  Paleaowind directions and strength can often be determined by in-situ yardangs One of the several fossil outcrops.  The present Stuart Creek can be seen in the background meandering through the paleaochannel (green trees).  Vegetation on the palaeochannel today is scarce and any flora is specialised to deal with the harsh desert conditions (low water, constant wind,  hot temperatures and rocky, low nutrient sandy soils).  Flies are a nuisance during the warmer days as the veil being worn suggests Previously thought to be casts of reeds, these filled in burrow-like objects are now thought top be out-gassing structures from methane producing rotting vegetation covered in sand; the sand subsequently metamorphosed to sandstone Inspecting my find Present and past flora.  One of the many leaf fossils that are preserved in the area.  Specimen is about 100 cm in length The area at and near the main campsite along the dryed banks of Stuart creek Eucalyptus spp. dominate the landscape Evidence of fast flowing water.  Conglomerates Peterified wiid and impressions of a thick woody stem Slabs of fossil bearing silcrete A three leafed broard leaf species indicative of  wetter conditiions Evidence of water is seen here with ripples and circular ripples - possiblt swirl marks (?) The highlight of the trip was the discovery and recovery of this beautiful speciemen of a fern Mud cracks A cycad or a palm - probably the later.  This was discovered several kilometers inland from the five tree hill and was the furtherest we explored.  The area which flat and comprised gibber also had several exposures of sandstone, mudstone and silcrete.  Various floral fossils were found alon with mud cracks and different varieties of ripple marks.  It is probable, from the lateral extent of the deposit that this area was once a lake feed by several ephemeral streams. Further evidence of fluvial deposited sediments.  Ripple marks provide information to determine direction of current, current velocity and water depth Heat and flies were a problem as well as becomming sunburnt and wind burnt.  A 10 knot wind was constantly blowing from the west Remnants of a drying shallow lake.  Mudcracks can clearly be observed Early evening.  Five tree hill in the background.  Note the fossiliferous outcrops Cataloging and packing our find at the campsite during the evening.  A rare find! Cataloging and packing our find at the campsite during the evening The White Cliffs areas is adjacent, or Stuart Creek paleochannel is adjacent to the beginning of the sand dune country.  Red longitudinal dunes join with gibber desert.  between the dunes are pans that small flowers have colonised in places Looking out over the Stuart Creek Paleochannel.  Stuart Ck is visible in the very far distance in some images. Stuart Creek Palaeochannel as seen from the white cliffs area.  The region is remote, desolate to the untrained eye and harsh -  yet beautiful Looking back towards White Cliffs as we travel back to the station Sunrise at the entrance to Stuart Creek Station