Granite outcrops, more properly known as monadnocks or inselbergs (an isolated hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a surrounding plain – literally ‘island mountain’), are a feature of the Yilgarn Craton and are dotted conveniently throughout the south-west of Western Australia extending beyond Kalgoorlie.
Although monadnock is a Native American term and inselberg is German for ‘island mountain’ they are particularly suitable terms to describe the granite outcrops in the south west of Australia.
Granite outcrops were vital to explorers and prospectors as they pushed to the east. They were were important as water sources and particularly for navigating. From the summit a compass bearing would would be taken on a suitable distant rock. Once in the virtually impenetrable tammar it was just a matter of keeping to the bearing.
Granite outcrops have their own ecosystem. They are characterised by a belt of thick vegetation around the base of the rock. In many cases this vegetation is swamp like, due to the large amount of runoff from the rock.
© Kim Epton 2019
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