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The Gulf of Carpentaria

The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large shallow sea that is surrounded on three sides by Northern Australia.

It is enclosed by the Arafura Sea (in the north).

The Arafura Sea is a body of water that is located between Australia and New Guinea

Gulf of Carpentaria Facts for Kids

  • The Gulf of Carpentaria covers an area of about 300,000-kilometer square. It is 590 kilometers at its mouth and 675 kilometers wide to its south. The north to south length is over 700 kilometers. Its general depth is usually between 55 meters and 66 meters while it has a maximum depth of 882 meters.
  • The difference between the high tide and low tide of the Gulf of Carpentaria is between two and three meters.
  • 18,000 years ago, during the peak of the last ice age, the Gulf of Carpentaria was dry land. At that time, the sea level was 120 meters lower than it is today.
  • Willem Janszoon, a Dutch, was the first European explorer who discovered the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1623. He named it in honor of Pietre de Carpenter, who was the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.
  • The Gulf of Carpentaria was also visited by another explorer in 1644. His name was Abel Tasman. The gulf was also explored in 1802 and 1803 by Matthew Flinders who created a map or chart for it.
  • At the bottom of the Gulf of Carpentaria is a coral reef that was discovered in 2004.
  • The Gulf of Carpentaria has two seasons per year. Its climate is usually hot and humid. The dry season is from April to November. The southeast to east winds is very dry. This is caused by high-pressure systems (to the south). The wet season is from December to March. During these months there is heavy rainfall, which results in the flooding of many lowland areas around the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • The large amount of sea grass present in the Gulf of Carpentaria makes it possible to trade in shrimps in that region.
  • The major rivers that flow into the Gulf of Carpentaria are Wilson River, Roper River, and Walker River. Other rivers include Flinders Rivers, Calvert River, McArthur River, Cox River, Gilbert River, Leichhardt River, Norman River, Archer River, Smithburne River, Alice River, Mission River, and Staaten River.
  • More than fifty species of fish have been found in the Gulf of Carpentaria. They include Salmon, Barramundi, Permit, Mackerel, Tarpon, and Queen Fish.
  • The following minerals are exported from the Gulf of Carpentaria: Zinc, Lead, and Silver. These minerals are obtained from the McArthur River Zinc Mine.
  • Between November and April hurricanes usually occur in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Every year, it is common for three hurricanes to occur in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and these hurricanes are believed to transport sediment (material settled at the bottom of a liquid) in a circle (or clockwork direction) along the coast of the gulf.
  • The Gulf of Carpentaria is surrounded by flat and low land. Arnhem, the Top End of the Northern Territory and Groote Eylandt are to the west. The Cape York Peninsula is to the east, while a part of Queensland, called the ‘Gulf Country’, is to the south.
  • The first expedition, by land, to arrive at the Gulf of Carpentaria, was the Burke and Wills expedition, which was led by Robert O’ Hara Burke, and William John Wills. They left Melbourne Victoria in 1860 and reached the mouth of the Bynoe River in February 1861.
  • Between the months of September and October, the Morning Glory Cloud can be seen in the southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
  • The Gulf of Carpentaria contains the following islands: Groote Eylandt Island (the largest island on the Gulf of Carpentaria), New Guinea Island, Vanderlin Island, Southwest Island, Sydney Island, and Mornington Island.

 

Questions

1. Write out the names of five major rivers that flow into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

2. Write out the names of the three minerals that are exported from the Gulf of Carpentaria.

3. The Morning Glory Cloud can be seen in the southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria between the months of

4. The large amount of seagrass present in the Gulf of Carpentaria makes it possible to trade in shrimps in that region. Yes or No.

5. What was the name of the first European explorer who discovered the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1623?

6. The Gulf of Carpentaria covers an area of about

7. How many species of fish have been found in the Gulf of Carpentaria?