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Tales from Wayoutback...

Uluru (Ayers Rock): The Tip of the Iceberg

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Uluru stands an imposing 348 metres above the surrounding desert and has a circumference of 9.4km. It measures 3.6 km long and 2.4 km wide oriented in an east-west direction. Rather like an iceberg, there is more of Uluru under the ground than above it which really brings home the enormity of it. Formed in Cambrian times, it was later tilted through uplift and folding so the horizontal strata now sits at almost 90˚ which gives it the distinct vertical banding.

Uluru is made of feldspar rich sandstone called arkose which is mainly grey and white. The distinctive rust colour is caused by a thin coating of iron oxide on the outer skin. The changing colours of red at sunset are caused by light refraction as the sun sinks in the sky. The lower the sun goes it has to travel through more of the earth’s atmosphere which bends the blue light away leaving the red light to intensify the Rock’s red colour.

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