Davenport Ranges, Northern Territory, Australia #2629

#2629 Davenport Ranges, Northern Territory, Australia by JVPD
The Davenport Ranges of central Australia have been inferred to be among the oldest persisting landforms on Earth, founded on the belief that the interior of Australia has been tectonically stable for at least 700 million years. New rock age dating techniques indicate that substantial erosion has probably occurred over that time period and that the landforms are not nearly that old, but landscape evolution certainly occurs much slower here (at least now) than is typical across Earth's surface. Regardless of their antiquity, the Davenport Ranges exhibit a striking landform pattern as shown in this display of elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). Quartzites and other erosion resistant strata form ridges within anticlinal (arched up) and synclinal (arched down) ovals and zigzags. These structures, if not the landforms, likely date back at least hundreds of millions of years, to a time when tectonic forces were active. Maximum local relief is only about 60 meters (about 200 feet), which is enough to contrast greatly with the extremely low relief surrounding terrain.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/NGA [0003-0612-3114-4411] by 0003

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australia, davenport ranges, earth science, geography, jpl, nasa, northern territory