Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hamelin Pool

This is Hamelin Pool. I have been wanting to visit this beautiful bay for years since hearing about it in first year Geology. It is extremely saline which provides the perfect environment for these:

No, they aren't turds! But stromatolites. They are mounds of bacteria which exist in only a few places. The salinity means they have no preditors (aside from us, hence the boardwalks)

They only grow a mm or so a year. Most are less than 30cm high, but they are still pretty old. Some have a red tinge which may have been caused by high iron content in the water at the time of formation. But they don't know.

The lines through the flat area of stromatolites are from wagons! When this area was settled the people had to walk and cart their wagons through the shallow bay. It just shows how fragile this eco system is - the impacts from 100 years ago can still be seen.