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Land of Gold

Spectacular Views Across Western Australia

Story by UrtheCast Gallery January 9th, 2017

From desert to ocean

This week, we take a closer look at the intricately textured, often golden, terrain of Western Australia — from the heart of its deserts, to the shores of its beautiful coastline.

Western Australia forms approximately one third of the entire landmass of Australia, and its capital, Perth, is the fourth-largest city in the country. The state is flanked by the Timor Sea to the north, the Indian Ocean to the west and north, and the Southern Ocean to the south.

Learn more, here.

Imagery captured by UrtheCast's Theia camera aboard the International Space Station.

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Halls Creek Area
Salt Lakes near Toolonga Nature Reserve
Boddington Gold Mine
Marble Bar
Hamersley Range
De Grey River, Indian Ocean
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To the bottom right of the image above sits Mount Sheila, adjacent to a mining site in the middle of the image.

Mount Sheila, and the nearby Mount Tom Price are both part of the Hamersley Range in the Pilbara region of the Australian Shield (or 'Western Plateau'). This area is known for the mining of iron ore, asbestos, and to a lesser extent, gold.

Local wildlife include the red kangaroo, wallaroo, and dingo.

Western Australia
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Western Australia's Toolonga Nature Reserve — the reddish area to the left of the image above — is found four hours from the coast of the Indian Ocean. The reserve is a part of a greater conservation reservation system, which includes Kalbarri National Park and Zuytdorp Nature Reserve.

Those curious blue-ish white circles to the right of the image are a series of salt lakes, which Western Australia is well known for.

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Australia's Largest gold Mine

Reopened in 2010, Boddington Gold Mine, shown below, is a gold and copper mine — and became the largest gold mine in the country in 2016. At a 1.5-hour drive from the territory's capital city of Perth, the mine is separated from the coast by the 180,000-hectare Dwellingup State Forest, which is visible to the right of the image above.

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Marble Bar

It almost resembles a lavish marble countertop.... Although the area was mistakenly named 'marble', when viewed from space, the name seems particularly apt.

Marble Bar is a town and rock formation found in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, near the territory's northern coast. The town was originally established following the discovery of gold in the region.

Corunna Downs airfield, visible in the third image below, once served as a secret WWII Royal Australian Air Force airfield, where U.S. and Australian bombers once flew. The now abandoned airfield is located ~35 kms south of the Marble Bar.

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INdian Ocean

The Indian Ocean, the planet's third largest ocean, lies to the west and north of Western Australia. It acts as the state's key source of salt production, accounting for ~80 percent of the country's salt market. Numerous evaporation ponds can be spotted along the coast, including those near Port Hedland, which lies just to the left of this image's footprint, along the coast.

The De Grey River, located in the middle of the landmass shown above, flows for 193 kilometres, into the ocean at Breaker Inlet.

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Gold on Gold

Last, but certainly not least, is a collection of imagery from across the Australian Shield — where stretches of Western Plateau meet mountains, rivers and salt lakes.

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Halls Creek Area, Western Australia
Halls Creek Area, Western Australia
Halls Creek Area, Western Australia
Western Australia