Homeward Bound

A snippet of Kakadu NP geology

The areas of Ubirr and Nourlangie Rock I visited in May 2017 are dominated by the fluvial Kombolgie Formation sandstones and conglomerates. This sequence of sediments was deposited approximately 1.7 billion years ago by a braided river system flooding across a wide flat plain that had formed after a long period (~100 My) of erosion of even older rocks. The conglomerates seen at Nourlangie are the basal units of the Formation and the size of the quartzite pebbles indicates deposition by a high-energy river system. As the energy of the system decreased over time and with the increasing thickness of material deposited, the sediment able to be carried by the river became finer resulting in the upper units grading to sands.  Flash-floods would have occurred from time to time depositing thick layers of coarser sand, and cross-bedding is evident in places where river banks may have been over-topped.  Ripple marks…

Homeward Bound

A visit to Ranger Uranium Mine

I visited the Ranger Uranium Mine on Saturday 27th May as Energy Resources Australia (ERA) were holding a public Open Day.  Anti-uranium mining sentiment remains strong in the Territory to this day but the mini-buses for tours to the mine were full. The Australian Federal Government legislated for the development of the Ranger Mine in 1976 and, interestingly, the first stage of the Kakadu National Park (KNP) was declared in 1979.  So perhaps without the mine, there would be no KNP – a political compromise, perhaps? Traditional owners of the land on which the mine operates have been paid substantial mining royalties over the years. The town of Jabiru was originally built to accommodate the mine’s workforce in 1982 but also now acts as the service centre for tourism within KNP.  A 2007 study[1] estimated $15 million per year in tourism revenue was being contributed directly to the Top End…

Homeward Bound

Rocks, rocks, rocks

011 Brown Bluff (1280x600)

This is Chapter 3 of my HB16 film, which I can post here as there are no ‘people permissions’ I need to get.  Interestingly, as I was putting this chapter together, I realised I had no actual movie footage of rocks from the trip.  I guess because they don’t move it never occurred to me to film them! Enjoy! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz-picDNk4ZDLTN4bFAtNS1ScEE/view?usp=sharing  

Homeward Bound

Engage and Change the Game – Commitment to a kinder world

Damoy Hut

I acknowledge that as the world moves further into the 21st century, many people are left behind and excluded, while others feel apprehensive about a future marked by global warming and rapid social and political changes. We must listen to all perspectives. Furthermore, events over the past year, most recently in the US, have caused shock waves throughout the world, on issues that touch all of us. These actions are designed to divide us and will harm many people as well as our planet. As a woman, a geoscientist, and a Homeward Bound participant, I state my support for the vital role of women, science and leadership in society. In December, I completed the first Homeward Bound expedition, a 20-day journey with 76 women in science to Antarctica, designed to equip 1,000 women to lead, influence and contribute to policy and decision-making as it informs the future of our planet…

Homeward Bound

Geological Society of Australia article for TAG March 2017

Homeward Bound 2016 was for me, quite literally, the trip of a lifetime. It was filled with ocean, snow, ice and the incredible beauty and rawness of nature aboard our real ‘Mother Ship’ – the Earth. As a geologist having worked in thermal coal for the last fourteen years, I climbed on-board the M.V. Ushuaia on the 2nd December with a huge dose of imposter syndrome, fearing I may be vilified and ostracised by this group of 75+ female climate change activists.  The knowledge that a film crew would be present conjured images of ‘Survivor Antarctica’ and the potential for me being voted off the boat even before we’d crossed the Drake Passage.  Fortunately, however, I found my companions were all incredibly intelligent, engaging, thoughtful and inclusive.  Although occasionally judgemental of the content of the HB program and how it was being run, I was surprised by the other participant’s…