Publication Details

This article was originally published as Young, RW, and Bryant, EA, Morphology and process on the lateritic coastline near Darwin, northern Australia, Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie NF, 42(1), 1998, 97-107. Copyright Borntraeger Science Publishers 1998. Original journal information available here


Coastal morphology near Darwin is controlled mainly by the gentle warping of a lateritic profile. In synclines the lateritic cuirasse forms extensive shore platforms, but on the anticlines the pallid zone of the weathering profile is eroded by waves, causing the undercut cuirasse to collapse. The dominant modern process on the shore platforms is solutional attack on the laterite, resulting in large depressions. Many of the platforms are covered by relict layers of cemented laterite cobbles transported by waves of high energy. C14 ages on carbonate cement between the cobbles show that one sheet was deposited at about 3700 BP and the other sheet at about 1700 BP. Waves generated during devastating tropical hurricanes this century had little effect on the cobble sheets, and they were probably transported onshore by tsunamis originating in the Indonesian archipelago.