Shark Bay page 2
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The boardwalk over the stromatolite beds at the World Heritage Site Park. The tide has just turned. Intertidal stromatolites are just visible. See the wagon tire tracks in one of the photos below for the reason that there is a walkway over the tidal flats: the environment is incredibly fragile.
Low intertidal stromatolites. Tips of some larger ones are visible above the water line. When I looked at this scene, I could imagine that I was looking at the Earth 3 billion years ago (and I would have worn a breather mask because of the anciently high carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere).
Stromatolites at low tide (darker rocks at left center). Beach microbial mats and shallow intertidal stromatolites are paler brown.
Tire tracks made last century by wagons delivering hides from the Peron Homestead sheep station to waiting ships.

Growth of the microbial mats and stromatolites is so slow that the wheel marks are still evident in the intertidal.

Close up of mid intertidal stromatolites with the incoming tide. Note the turbid water (very saline and warm, even in winter).
The Peron Homestead sheep station (52,500 acres) a short drive north from Denham. The water raised by the windmill is warm and slightly saline. Sheep raised in this landscape of Western Sclerophyll vegetation (Western Mulga) were of minimal value. The sclerophyll (tough leaves adapted to arid conditions) forage of bushes left the meat rank and the wool full of twigs. Hides were shipped from the Hamelin Pool, a long journey by wagon in the last century. See satellite photos on previous page to see just how far the journey was (it is now several hours on sealed road by car).

Travel now beyond this point is limited to 4 wheel drive vehicles.

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Shark Bay page 3 for more images of the landscape and vegetation