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Landform and Vegetation Change in the Greaves Creek Basin: an asymmetric hanging valley in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales

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Abstract:

Greaves Creek has cut a hanging valley through the entire Triassic sandstone sequence near Blackheath in the western Blue Mountains, New South Wales. Downstream of Beauchamp Falls, it cuts into Permian strata in the Grose Gorge. The hanging valley has a valley-in-valley structure. The narrow inner valley is bounded by high cliffs and its floor is cut by a deep narrow slot canyon where stream incision has occurred without valley widening. The course of the creek is related to joint directions. Intense jointing, minor faulting and sapping influence the stability of cliffs but up to 30m of incision has occurred without valley widening in the slot canyon. Topographic asymmetry expressed as unequal slopes of the valley sides is related to differential insolation, erosion, vegetation cover, bioturbation and fire intensity. In the western Blue Mountains and elsewhere in the Sydney Basin asymmetric slopes occur in many other valley-ridge systems, particularly those whose long axes are oriented between about east-west and north-east-south-west. Vegetation structure and floristics within Greaves Creek valley are related to physiography of the valley and to aspect through their effects on fire, moisture availability, light availability, soil depth and temperature.

Keywords: ASYMMETRIC; BLUE; BRYOPHYTES; CANYON; EROSION; FIRE; HANGING; LYREBIRDS; MOUNTAINS; SLOT; TOPOGRAPHY; VALLEY; VEGETATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00049180020036240

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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