From space weather.com
Sunspots are becoming scarce. Very scarce. So far in 2018 the sun has been blank almost 60% of the time, with whole weeks going by without sunspots.
The fact that sunspots are vanishing comes as no surprise. Forecasters have been saying for years that this would happen as the current solar cycle (“solar cycle 24”) comes to an end. The surprise is how fast.
“Solar cycle 24 is declining more quickly than forecast,” stated NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center on April 26th. This plot shows observed sunspot numbers in blue vs. the official forecast in red:
Continue reading “Entering Solar Minimum”
Found in Leigh Creek Township.
Iron oxide cubes found in a dolomite formation on the NW side of Leigh Creek commons.
Sliding Rock is the site of an old copper mine on the west side of Warraweena Conservation Park. The following 5 sand samples were taken in the area.
Old Copper Track
Lithic sand primarily composed from surrounding sedimentary rocks with some quartz crystals with hematite inclusions.
Continue reading “Sands: Sliding Rock Area”
Excerpt: The legacy of time
First published by The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc. in 1995.
The Flinders Ranges have been shaped by geological processes that, over hundreds of millions of years, have built the stage upon which the drama of biological interactions is being performed.
The Flinders Ranges form part of a highland chain extending from Kangaroo Island in the south through the Mount Lofty Ranges and Flinders Ranges to Marree and beyond in the north, to Olary in the east, and to Spencer Gulf and Lake Torrens in the west. Like many other mountain chains, they began their history as a subsiding sedimentary basin.
During the late Precambrian era, the Earth’s crust in South Australia consisted of granitic, metamorphic, sedimentary and volcanic rocks formed between 2600 and 1400 million years ago. In the present Flinders, the only rocks from that time are exposed near Arkaroola, including what are now known as the Freeling Heights Quartzite, Terrapinna Granite (Terrapinna Tors Walk) and Mt Neill Granite. Rocks that now constitute the eastern states of Australia were yet to form and the ancestral Pacific Ocean may have had its shores in South Australia. To the south, Australia was still joined to Antarctica.
The main area in South Australia then lay west of an approximate line from Adelaide to Oodnadatta; a smaller one existed in the vicinity of Lake Frome. The intervening area, where the Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges now stand, became a long-lived basin known as the Adelaide Geosyncline, in which sediments accumulated 800 to 500 million years ago.
Continue reading – download PDF The Flinders Ranges – Legacy of Time
The William Light Foundation, a not for profit organisation based in the Flinders Ranges, have nominated 33 native species (Birds and Flora) for listing under any of the categories specified in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The species nominated for protection are listed by the State Classifications of South Australia as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Rare or Vulnerable (South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972) but are as yet not listed under any of the categories of the EPBC Act.
They include 16 species of plant and the following 19 species of threatened birds:
Continue reading “19 Threatened Flinders Ranges Bird Species Nominated for Federal Protection”
Among the thousands of bird sightings made in two days by Birds SA experts, several rare birds were spotted in the Copley area.
Included in this list are birds classified as Rare by the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, such as
- Musk Duck
- Blue-billed Duck
- Australiasian Darter (pictured)
- Elegant Parrot
- Great Crested Grebe.
Read more in an article by the Transcontinental newspaper.
Photography by Andy Klotz
On April 3-4th, 2018, 12 experienced birders with 5 spotting scopes, the usual binoculars and cameras with telephoto lens participated in a bird survey in waterways in the Copley Area.
69 species were recorded in two days.
Notes to accompany the Bird Record Forms attached:
- Retention Dam was surveyed twice. We did not walk around the whole dam but did walk from the northern “beach” end to the area where the creek flows in. The spotting scopes allowed us to scan the far side quite efficiently.
- The “overflow” water over the main road north of Copley on the way to Lyndhurst was only surveyed once from midday or two hours. This was not an optimum time for birding.
- Aroona Dam was surveyed once – around the base of the dam wall and also from the top car park area.
Birds SA Reports
Copley – Leigh Creek Retention Dam 3 April 2018
Copley – Leigh Creek Retention Dam 4 April 2018
Copley – Leigh Creek Aroona Dam 4 April 2018
Copley – Leigh Creek Overflow 4 April 2018