Lake Carpentaria

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Geological Survey of Queensland
The modern drainage catchment of the Gulf of Carpentaria (Figure 9.2) comprises more than 25 monsoon-fed rivers that collectively provide 25% of the total fluvial run-off of the Australian continent (Figure 9.12). The Gulf is bounded to the east by Torress Strait(maximum water depth 12m) and by the Arafura Sill (water depth 53 m) to the west. The deepest, eastern central portion of the Gulf today is 71 m (Figure 9.13). Accordingly, during episodes of low Quaternary sea levels, the Gulf was separated from the open waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and formed the large freshwater-brackish Lake Carpentaria (Torgersen et al. 1983, 1985, 1988; Jones & Torgersen 1988). When most recently filled, the lake had a maximum depth of 15-18m and the lateral dimensions of about 600 x 300K, with overflow westwards into the Arafura Sea (Chivas et al. 2001). Among modern lakes, only the Caspian Sea has a larger surface area. Throughout the past glacial cycle of -125 000 years, there was at least one land bridge between Australia and New Guinea for more than 90% of this time. © 2013, Queensland Government.
Drainage, Watersheds, Pacific Ocean, Australia, New Guinea, Caspian Sea
Chivas, A., García, A., & Cendón, D. I. (2013). Lake Carpentaria In P. A. Jell (Ed.), Geology of Queensland (pp. 663-664): Queensland Government.