Bungle Bungle Range

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Palms in one of the many canyons.
The Bungle Bungles

Bungle Bungle Range is the landform that is the major component of the Purnululu National Park in Western Australia - it is often used as a synonym for the national park area.

The traditional human inhabitants of the area are the Kitja peoples.[1]

Aboriginal people have been living in the area for over 20,000 years and continue to maintain a strong connection to this ancient landscape. The national park is managed by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation in conjunction with the traditional Aboriginal owners.[2]

The origin of the landscape[edit]

The distinctive beehive-shaped towers are made up of sandstones and conglomerates (rocks composed mainly of pebbles and boulders and cemented together by finer material). These sedimentary formations were deposited into the Ord Basin 375 to 350 million years ago, when active faults were altering the landscape. The combined effects of wind from the Tanami Desert and rainfall over millions of years shaped the domes. Weathering also helped create this marvel. Water seeps into the rock, and at night it expands as it gets colder. This creates small cracks which eventually wears out the rocks.

A 7 km diameter circular topographic feature is clearly visible on satellite images of the Bungle Bungle Range (Google Maps image). It is believed that this feature is the eroded remnant of a very ancient meteorite impact crater and is known as the Piccaninny impact structure.

The unusual orange and dark grey banding on the conical rock formations is caused by differences in the layers of sandstone. The darker bands are on the layers of rock which hold more moisture, and are a dark algal growth. The orange colored layers are stained with iron and manganese mineral deposits.

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Coordinates: 17°25′17″S 128°26′42″E / 17.4214°S 128.4449°E / -17.4214; 128.4449

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