Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why do New England's rivers often flow south-north?

In my last post, Did New England have glaciers?, I referred to  evidence provided by Road suggesting that Pleistocene New England may have been colder than we realised. This led me to follow up in my Armidale Express column, Belshaw's World - no wonder it’s cold here.

Now Rod has a new post, The backward Clarence River, looking at the puzzle set by the direction of New England's river flows. Rod is focusing on the Clarence, but the same pattern holds inland.

Simply put, many New England rivers that you would think should flow east-west or west-east actually flow north or sometimes south. They get to the sea or Darling River, but not in the way you might expect. This results in a pattern that somehow seems at odds with the current landscape.

The answer has to lie in the pattern of past geological change, although our understanding of this is still very imperfect.