Nature conservation

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Broken Hill Complex - subregions

Subregions of the Broken Hill Compex Bioregion
SubregionGeologyCharacteristic landformsTypical soilsVegetation
Barrier Range



Parts of 28 land systems.

Ancient gneiss, schists, amphibolite, granites and pegmatites with north-east structural trends, overlain by Cambrian sediments with northwest trends.Steep, low rocky ranges oriented to bedrock structure. Prominent fault scarps. Eroded footslopes extend to outwash fans.A high proportion of rock outcrop with shallow stony soil on the crests. Soils become deeper and finer downslope. Texture contrast profiles are common and quality differs according to rock type. Limited mulga, dead finish and bluebush on the ridges. Denser shrubs including belah, whitewood, turpentine, prickly wattle, punty bush with bluebush, grasses and forbs on the lower slopes. River red gum line larger creeks, shrubs and grasses increase on the outwash fans. Curly mallee on limestone outcrops.
Mootwingee Downs



Parts of 23 land systems.

Ordovician and Devonian conglomerates, sandstones and siltstones with northwest structural trends. Late pre-Cambrian sandstone, chert and schist lies under the rocks of the ranges. Cretaceous sandstones form tabletops on the eastern edge of the subregion. Asymmetric stony ridges formed by resistant bedrocks, cut by deep gorges and alternating with soil and debris filled valleys. Larger streams deliver sand to the fans and plains. Tablelands and mesas of Cretaceous sandstone in the east and northeast.Very limited soil on the ranges. Stony sands on the lower slopes extending to deep gravels and sands in the stream lines and floodouts.



In situ brown to grey green clayey sands on Cretaceous rocks.

Mulga is common on the hills with white pine and numerous shrubs. River red gum line the creeks. Denser mulga, patches of belah, occasional beefwood, and dense prickly wattle, and other shrubs occur in the valleys.



Bluebush and saltbush, with patches of belah and occasional gidgee on the tablelands and slopes.

Scopes Range



Parts of 7 land systems.

Ordovician quartz sandstone with northeast trend and low angle dips.Low rounded hills with a high proportion of rock outcrop. Faulted edge against a cemented gravel apron of Tertiary age on the eastern side.Shallow stony profiles on crests and slopes extending to sandy outwash fans.Open mulga, patches of belah and bluebush on the hills.



Bluebush and saltbush communities on the slopes extending to grasses and saltbush on the plains. River red gum on the larger creek lines.

Barrier Range Outwash



Parts of 23 land systems.

Quaternary colluvial and alluvial slope deposits, floodplain and fan sediments, and aeolian sands. Stream channels and floodplains, low angle alluvial fans and floodouts, extending to extensive sandplains and dunefields with lakes and claypans. Limited lunette development.Deep red sands on sandplains and dunes, clayey sands in floodouts extending to dark coloured cracking clays in swamps and lake beds.



Brown loamy sands on lunettes.

River red gum and some black box on the larger creek lines. Mulga, belah, rosewood with occasional nelia and leopardwood and an understorey of grasses and bluebush on the sandplains and dunes. Some porcupine grass. Canegrass, chenopods and some lignum on lake beds with fringing black box. Mulga, turpentine and bluebush on lunettes.

From Morgan and Terrey 1992

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Page last updated: 26 April 2016