Uluru

Place:

Describe the place interms of location, features, environmental and human characteristics-

-Uluru is located in the centre of the Northern Territory, Australia, 450km away from Alice Springs which is considered to be the closest "real" township in the area. There are multiple features of Uluru as it is a unique enormous sandstone monolith and it is one of the worlds best known natural landmarks that tourists visit when in Australia. The rock itself has environmental features such as caves, valleys and waterholes. Traditionally Uluru is a sacred site for Aboriginal tribes and has great spiritual meaning to the Abotiginal people. Many people visit the area to learn about the traditional and spiritual meaning of Uluru.

What is the significance to the Indigenous Australians?-

In this images is shows what some of the indigenous paintings look like-

- Uluru is significant to the Indigenous people of Australia, because they are the original people and guardians of the land. Uluru is also so significant to the Aboriginal people because it is sacred to their cultural beliefs. There are some areas of the rock that the Aboriginal people request are not visited due to sacredness of those areas.

What is the significance to the Australian community in general?-

- Uluru has such a great significance to the Australian Community in general, because it is indeed more than just a rock, it is a living cultural aspect of Australian history. The living cultural aspect is considered to be scarced according to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Over time it has become not only apart of the Indigenous idententy but the Australian identity.

Where it the place?

Uluru has an elevation of 863 metres, latitude of 25.344 degrees and longitude of 131.0369 degrees. It is located in the Northern Territory Australia, Petermann Range and is best accessed from Alice Springs.

What is the pattern, shape and size?

Uluru shape has indeed changed over time, what Uluru looks like now is vastly different from it's original form. It is now an eroded and weathered mountain. The massive weathered mountain is made up of valleys, ridges, caves and shapes. The size of Uluru is a massive 3.6 km long and 2.4 km wide, the perimeter is 9.4 km.

What does a contour map show?

The contour map of Uluru shows the physical elevation and how steep the "rock" is using contour lines to emphasise the elevation in major detail.

This image shows the Uluru in the form of a contour map.

What is the origin and structure?

Uluru was formed at the same time as the Kata Tjuta five million years ago. A block called the Musgrave Provinence was pushed up from the south creating the Peterman Ranges, these were high mountain ranges without and plant cover. These ranges quickly eroded due to the lack of vegetation. The Kata Tjuta sediments were removed by the river where they were buried under the sea. Where as Uluru was dumped at the bottom of the range. Uluru was never a river but was submerged. But in the Dream Time stories it is different.

What do the Dream Time stories say?

According to the Dream Time stories Uluru was believed to have been created in Dream Time by ten Dream Time spirits. As the Dream Time spirits have it the Southern side of Uluru was created by the battle between Kuhla (carpet snakes) and the Liru (poisonous snakes). Minor parts of the southern side were created by 2 other totemic creatures Metalungana (sleeping lizards) and Linga (sand lizards). The north west side/corner were created by the movement and activities of the Mala people (hare-wallaby). This section was also formed by other creatures such as Linga, Tjinderi-Tjinderiba (willy-wagtail women and her children).

The formation of the Western face was created by other totemic beings associated with Kandju, the creator of the surrounding topography. Itjari-tearing (marsupial mole), created numbers of the caves and potholes on the surface of the Western side. The camps of the men and women { Kaldidi } were transformed into a bolder pile on the South Western corner.

Environment

Describe the vegetation and animal life?

The vegetation around the base of Uluru, it is the home to more than 400 plants. Most of the plants found provide a source of fuel, deficiency and food. The animal life consists of many culturally important and often ancestral creatures. The creatures consist of birds and reptiles like lizards, snakes and unusual mammals.

Describe the surrounding landscape

The landscape surrounding Uluru is dry bush scrub, with any plants that will survive in a desert like climate. 52 km away from Uluru the is a neighbouring rock formation call Kata Tjuta.

This image shows the surrounding vegetation beneath Uluru

What is the climate?

The climate overview Uluru is extremely hot of a day and cools down over night. This is because Uluru situated near the centre of a semi-arid desert. Temperatures can range from 3.5 degrees in winter months to a high 37.5 degrees in summer months. The rainfall is approximately 308 mm (12 inches) in one year, this is not much at all for an average rainfall.

What aspects are natural?

  • The rock
  • The vegetation and wildlife
  • The land it's self
  • The geology

What aspects are built?

  • The fence surrounding the park
  • The road/foot path round the complex
  • The old path and rope, up to the top of Uluru
  • The table and chairs to admire the view

How has the environment been challenged over time?

Uluru's environment has changed over time with both erosion and under cover sea plain. Over 500 million year ago, Uluru was part of a big block of ancient mountains. Millions of years later the whole area of mountains was submerged with sea, sand, mud and rocks all fell to the bottom of the sea bed. Millions of years later earthquakes folded upwards pushing and shifting the sea bed up. Today Ulur is slowly eroding away at the surface making pot holes, cracks and crevices.

Interconection

What is the effect of the tourism industry on your place?

The tourist effect on Uluru are both positive and negative. The negative effects are that before the new govenment rule came into action, tourists were allowed to walk upon the rock. Due to the heavy amount of tourists walking upon the land the rock was subjected to the constant tread of climbers, has worn down the path, erosion is changing the face/image of Uluru.

The positive tourism effects are that it has boosted the tourism intake in surrounding areas for example, Alice Prings. It has also made a huge job boos for individuals working in the area. Jobs such as taking walking tours (being a guide), piloting and lots more.

What other factors have caused problems or challenges?

One of the biggest challenges in the past was the decision to close down access to climbing the rock. This was a difficult decision to make but one that the traditional land owners were passionate about.

Sustainability

What actions need to be taken to make sure that your place is preserved for future generations?

Currently Uluru has a management plan to preserve Uluru for the future generations. The Government, National Parks Management Plan for 2010-2020 is a joint management that brings together knowledge from cultural and scientific aspects. The plan embraces to build on lessons learnt and recognise the good will of the community.

Describe at least one of a sustainability issues

One of the sustainability issues is erosion. From what we know is that erosion eats away at the surface and then transports it away to another location. This is significantly bad because it is moving the sand and dust off the top of the surface leaving holes and slowly forming cracks.

Scale

What actions need to be taken at each level to ensure the management of this place ?

The actions that need to take place, are that both the Indigenous owners and the National Parks Board of Management need to continue to look after the park by doing small prevention tasks like, regular burn offs. Regular burn offs in this case ensures the safety of the park by burning the bush land to stop bigger and uncontrollable fires form taking place. I also believe that, there should be more respect as tourists towards the massive rock and the rightful owners.

Change

What changes are occurring ?

The changes that are occurring Uluru are environmental factors such as, strong winds, blasting sand and rain against the rock. These are all the consequences of erosion and weathering. It is more unlikely these days, that there is the on going damage from tourists, due to the access restrictions that have been put in place.

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