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New England Tableland - subregions

Subregions of the New England Tableland Bioregion
Subregion Geology Characteristic landforms Typical soils Vegetation
Bundarra Downs Lower Carboniferous mudstones, lithic sandstones and conglomerates. Upper catchment of the Gwydir River undulating to low hilly country with dendritic drainage pattern. Hills rise to the east on granite metamorphic contact ridges. Harsh texture contrast soils, generally yellow, thinner and stonier on steep slopes. Some areas of slightly saline soils. In the west: white box, grey box, yellow box and Blakely's red gum with mugga on stony ridges and river red gum along streams. In the east: broad-leaved stringybark, Youman's stringybark, tumble down gum, white box, yellow box, black cypress pine and kurrajong.
Beardy River Hills Fine grained Permo-Carboniferous sedimentary rocks with little distortion Rocky hills and steep gorge of the Beardy River. Thin stony soils on most slopes. Yellow, harsh texture contrast soils where better developed. White box, tumble down gum, Caley's ironbark, mugga, Youman's stringybark, and some yellow box. Silver-leaved ironbark with white cypress pine and occasional kurrajong in gorge country.
Walcha Plateau Faulted inliers of Devonian and Carboniferous sandstone, conglomerate, minor limestone, slate, schist, amphibolite and volcanics. Small stock of granodiorite and central peak and ridge top fingers of Tertiary basalt. Eastern and southern margin is the Great Escarpment. High central plateau capped by basalts. General topography undulating with small rugged areas often related to geology. Mellow and harsh texture contrast soils on sediments and granite. Red brown to black structured loams on basalt, thin in places and often stony. Snow gum and black sallee on coldest wet ridges. Ribbon gum, mountain gum, silver-top stringybark, New England blackbutt, narrow-leaved peppermint, in moist high areas. New England stringybark, ribbon gum, and cool temperate rainforest elements in moist sheltered gullies.
Armidale Plateau Fine grained Permo-Carboniferous sedimentary rocks, granites and multiple Tertiary basalt flows. Undulating to hilly plateau at 1100 m. Stepped landscape across basalt flows, broad valleys, steepening to the east at the head of Great Escarpment gorges. Texture contrast soils on sedimentary rocks and granite, mellow (soft and friable) and well drained on upper slopes, harsh and poorly drained on lower slopes. Variable stony loams to deep black earths in valley floors on basalt. Deep, dark loamy alluvium in swampy valleys. Open ribbon gum forest and woodland with snow gum and black sallee on basalt. Cold air drainage influence inverts the tree patterns in wide valleys. Yellow box, Blakely's red gum, rough-barked apple, apple box on sedimentary rocks. Silver-top stringybark, New England stringybark on dry aspects, Blakely's red gum, yellow box and apple box on moist, well-drained slopes, and New England peppermint with ribbon gum on flats.
Wongwibinda Plateau Fine grained Permian sedimentary rocks with small areas of granite and basalt. Hilly plateau 900-1500 m. Rainfall and temperature decrease to the west. Stepped slopes on basalt. Streams run to steep gorges on the edge of the great Escarpment. Red and yellow, mellow, texture contrast soils on sedimentary rocks and granites. Shallow stony loams on steep areas of basalt with deep, dark loams on flatter slopes. Highest areas on basalt; snow gum, black sallee and ribbon gum woodland. Western areas; New England stringybark, narrow-leaved peppermint on hills, yellow box, wattle-leaved peppermint and New England peppermint with snow gum, black sallee and ribbon gum in valleys. Eastern areas above gorges; New England blackbutt, New England stringybark, silver-top stringybark, ribbon gum, narrow-leaved peppermint, yellow box, snow gum and black sallee.
Deepwater Downs Permian diorite, acid volcanics and small areas of shales. Hilly to undulating with broad valleys, elevation 950 m. Harsh red and yellow texture contrast soils with thin gritty topsoils. Woodland of Blakely's red gum, apple box, New England stringybark, narrow-leaved peppermint, New England peppermint, rough-barked apple and bull oak.
Glen Innes-Guyra Basalts Extensive Tertiary basalt flows. Small enclosed areas of granite and fine grained Permian sedimentary rocks. Quaternary sediments in swamps and lagoons. Stepped plateau from 700-1500 m. Undulating to low hilly. Swamps and lagoons with evidence of past higher water levels and lunettes. Wide valleys in an evolving drainage system. Deep red brown and brown to black, fertile and well structured loams on basalt. Thinner and stony on steep slopes, waterlogged in valley floors. Harsh, yellow texture contrast soils on granites and minor sedimentary rocks. High areas have woodland of snow gum, black sallee and ribbon gum. Silver-top stringybark, New England peppermint at lower levels on basalt. White box woodland with rough-barked apple, ribbon gum and yellow box in lowest western areas. Narrow-leaved ironbark on sedimentary rocks.
Ebor Basalts Tertiary basalt with minor trachyte. Hilly benched plateau 1200-1500 m. Highest and steepest above the Great Escarpment with 2000 mm rainfall. Deep, brown well structured loams with high organic content. Stony profiles on trachyte. Waterlogged clayey peats in some valleys. Snow gum, black sallee woodland with New England peppermint, messmate, ribbon gum, shining gum, and brown barrel. Sphagnum peats in high valleys, Barren Mountain mallee heaths on siliceous soils.
Moredun Volcanics Lower Permian acid volcanics with minor granite and Tertiary basalts. Undulating plateau at 1100 m with steep western slope and rugged hills falling to 850 m. Harsh yellow texture contrast soils with stony brown loams on basalts. Open forest and woodland of snow gum, black sallee, New England stringybark, McKie's stringybark, silver-top stringybark, ribbon gum, yellow box, and some black cypress pine on the plateau. Mugga, Caley's ironbark, tumbledown gum, white box, yellow box and Youman's stringybark on western slopes.
Severn River Volcanics Permian mixed volcanics and fine sedimentary rock. Granite intrusions and ridge top patches of Tertiary basalt with underlying sand and gravel. Undulating to hilly and rugged, elevation range 600 -1200 m. Well developed dendritic drainage with rocky gorges. Rock outcrop common on steep slopes. Shallow stony sandy loams on steep slopes, harsh texture contrast soils with gritty topsoils common, structured brown loams on small areas of basalt. Some evidence of salinity. Low western slopes; woodland or heath of orange gum, Caley's ironbark, tumbledown gum, and black cypress pine. Woodlands and forest of red stringybark, western New England blackbutt, narrow-leaved ironbark, white box, yellow box and rough-barked apple. Highest eastern slopes; open forest of New England stringybark, Tenterfield wollybutt, yellow box, narrow-leaved ironbark, apple box, Blakely's red gum with orange gum in rocky outcrops.
Northeast Forest Lands Permian fine grained sedimentary rocks, and large areas of granite. Hilly plateau 950-1500 m. Swampy valleys on some granites. Deep siliceous sands merging to poorly developed harsh texture contrast soils and areas of red sandy loams to structured sandy clay loams. Most soils prone to surface wash and gully erosion. Open forest of New England blackbutt, diehard stringybark, Youman's stringybark and messmate. Snow gum and black sallee in cold air pockets, patches of rainforest with Deane's gum in sheltered gullies. White ash adjacent to rock domes, New England mallee and heath on rocky outcrops of Gibraltar Range with wet heath and sphagnum bogs in valleys.
Tenterfield Plateau Wide range of Permian granites and areas of acid volcanics. Undulating to hilly variable plateau 500 -1200 m. Shallow gritty sands on steep slopes to harsh texture contrast soils. Some evidence of salinity. Bolivia Range; open forest of New England stringybark with yellow box, rough-barked apple, apple box, kurrajong, black cypress pine and mugga. Considerable local variation with aspect. Remainder of area; woodland of New England peppermint, New England stringybark, Blakely's red gum, yellow box, apple box, rough-barked apple, broad-leaved apple, fuzzy box and bull oak.
Yarrowyck-Kentucky Downs Permian granites. Undulating to hilly, general slope northwest 750-1100 m. Areas of rocky outcrop and granite tors. Mellow texture contrast soils on drained slopes, harsh texture contrast soils on lower slopes. Coarse sandy topsoils prone to erosion and some evidence of salinity in subsoils. Woodland of Blakely's red gum, New England peppermint, yellow box, rough-barked apple, New England stringybark. Tumbledown gum and black cypress pine on rocky hills. River oak along main streams.
Binghi Plateau Permo-Carboniferous shales, slates quartzites, and widespread granites. Rugged rounded hills and valleys. 700-1200 m. Streams more deeply incised at lower levels. Shallow gritty soils amongst rock outcrop and patches of harsh yellow texture contrast soils on lower slopes and valley floors. Woodland to open forest of tumbledown gum, New England stringybark, Youman's stringybark, western New England blackbutt, yellow box, apple box, Blakely's red gum, black cypress pine and widespread orange gum.
Stanthorpe Plateau Fine grained carboniferous sediments and granites. Low hills to mountains across the Great Dividing Range, elevation from 600-1200 m. Large areas of rock outcrop and granite tors. Shallow loams and siliceous sands in steep rocky areas, yellow to grey, mellow texture contrast soils on slopes and valley floors. Complex mixtures of tumbledown gum, Blakely's red gum, western New England blackbutt, New England stringybark, forest red gum, fuzzy box, Caley's ironbark, with angophora, ribbon gum and yellow box. Patches of low rainforest elements on sheltered slopes and limited sedgelands in valleys.
Eastern Nandewars Several intrusions of granites each of slightly different composition. Western edge of the tablelands sloping down to merge with the North West Slopes. 500-1100 m. Hilly with broad valleys and rugged granite outcrops with tors. Siliceous sands amongst rock outcrops. Widespread mellow texture contrast soils of relatively low fertility and poor structure, prone to erosion. Open forest and woodland of silver-top stringybark, Blakely's red gum, Youman's stringybark, yellow box, apple box, rough-barked apple with black cypress pine, ribbon gum and some snow gum. Western slopes; tumbledown gum, western New England blackbutt, Caley's ironbark, white cypress pine and black cypress pine, rough-barked apple and silver-leaved ironbark.
Tingha Plateau Granites with some fine sedimentary rocks and large areas of Tertiary sands and gravels with remnant patches of basalt. Undulating plateau at 850 m. Steeper western and southern edge to 650 m. Creek lines and lower slopes very disturbed by mining, extensive gully erosion. Siliceous sands, red earths and mellow texture contrast soils. Open forest of New England stringybark, yellow box, Blakely's red gum, and rough-barked apple on Tertiary sands.

 

 

Open forest of red stringybark, McKie's stringybark, silver-top stringybark, mugga, Caley's ironbark and black cypress pine elsewhere.

Nightcap Permian granites. Plateau with undulating hills at 1100-1450 m. Broad gentle valleys, massive rock outcrop in some areas. Sandy yellow and grey, mellow texture contrast soils. Increased organic matter in swampy sedgelands in valleys. Open forest of narrow-leaved peppermint, New England stringybark, messmate, ribbon gum, snow gum and black sallee. New England mallee on rock outcrops. Sedgeland in some stream lines.
Round Mountain Permian granites and minor Tertiary basalt. Plateau with low hills at 1050-1500 m. Broad swampy valleys. Mellow yellow texture contrast soils overall, small areas of red loams on basalt. New England stringybark shrubby open forest with western New England blackbutt, wattle-leaved peppermint, narrow-leaved peppermint, and mountain gum. Messmate and ribbon gum with cool temperate rainforest elements and some snow gum Sedgelands in swampy valleys.


From Morgan and Terrey 1992

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Page last updated: 26 April 2016