Taking core samples on Giraween lagoon
Original Published Date: 
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Full article issued by the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage.

Almost 20 metres of sediment from the bed of a Northern Territory lagoon with the potential to unlock vital clues to our environmental and cultural history have been retrieved by ARC-supported researchers at the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage.

Girraween Lagoon, near Darwin, is a significant Aboriginal site and gained a place in modern Australian popular culture as a location for filming the iconic water bottle scene in the movie Crocodile Dundee. Now, sediment from the 400m-diameter lagoon could provide new insights to the deep history of the region.

A team of researchers, led by ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Michael Bird, from James Cook University, used a custom-made raft to float a rig to the middle of the lagoon. Over five days, the researchers took core samples, which are now being examined in the laboratory to assess the impact of human arrival, megafauna extinction and whether the climate during the last interglacial period, 130,000 years ago, was similar to today.

The field work took place following extensive discussions with the Traditional Owners, The Larrakia Nation.

 

Photo credit: 

Image: Taking core samples on Giraween lagoon. Credit: The Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage.