Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

The Geological History of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) dates back over 500 million years.

Geological History of Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage area, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. It is a truly spectacular natural wonder being higher and much larger than its neighbour Uluru (Ayers Rock). It comprises of 36 domes or massive red rocks, which are primarily made up of conglomerate boulders, or many many smaller rocks fused together by volcanic activity, pressure and time.

Shapes of Erosion

Like Uluru some 40km to its east, Kata Tjuta has been shaped by erosion. However the erosion forces acting on Kata Tjuta work slightly differently to those at Uluru.

Despite the desert climate, temperatures routinely dip to below freezing overnight and during the winter months. The night temperates freeze condensation which has found its way into tiny cracks in and between the many rocks. As this moisture from condensation freezes it expands, and gradually pushes the rocks apart. When morning temperatures rise, the ice formed then melts leaving larger cracks. The repeated process is known as Frost Weathering or Freeze-thaw Cracking.

Freeze-Thaw Weathering

A common geological process as described in Sciencing.

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