Great Australian Bight

oceanic bight off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia

Coordinates: 33°S 130°E / 33°S 130°E / -33; 130

The Great Australian Bight is a large bight, or open bay. It is off the central and western parts of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.

Map of Australia, showing the Great Australian Bight.
The Great Australian Bight south of the Nullarbor. Credit Jacques Descloitres, Visible Earth, NASA.

The Bight's boundaries are from Cape Pasley, Western Australia, to Cape Carnot, South Australia. This is a distance of 1,160 km or 720 miles.[1]

The much more accepted name in Australia for the connected waterbody is the Southern Ocean rather than the Indian Ocean.

The settlements along the coastline with access to the Bight and facilities are Ceduna and Eucla. Some other locations on the Eyre Highway or on the Nullarbor do not have facilities or easy access.

Natural historyEdit

 
Great Australian Bight

The coast line of the Great Australian Bight has cliff faces (up to 60 m high), surfing beaches and rock platforms, ideal for whale-watching. The Great Australian Bight receives very little of the runoff that fertilises most continental shelves. It is essentially a marine desert. It is probably best noted for the large number of sharks that frequent its coastal waters, as well as the increasing numbers of Southern Right Whales that migrate in the region.

One location on the bight that is for the understanding of the natural history on its coastline is the Eyre Bird Observatory.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Great Australian Bight". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 29 September 2011.

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Great Australian Bight at Wikimedia Commons