Gulf of Carpentaria

From Academic Kids

The Gulf of Carpentaria viewed from orbit.  New Guinea is visible at the top, the Australian mainland at the bottom, and the Cape York Peninsula to the right
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The Gulf of Carpentaria viewed from orbit. New Guinea is visible at the top, the Australian mainland at the bottom, and the Cape York Peninsula to the right

The Gulf of Carpentaria is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia, and bounded on the north by the Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies between Australia and New Guinea). In geological terms, the Gulf is young: it was dry land as recently as the last ice age.

The land bordering the Gulf is generally flat and low-lying. To the west is Arnhem Land and the Top End of the Northern Territory, to the east Cape York Peninsula. The area to the south (like Cape York Peninsula, part of Queensland) is known as the Gulf Country or simply the Gulf.

The climate is hot and humid with two seasons per year: the dry lasts from about April until November, the summer wet season from December to March. Most of the years rainfall is compressed into two or three months, and during this period many low-lying areas are flooded.

In many other parts of Australia, there are dramatic climatic transitions over fairly short distances. The Great Dividing Range, which parallels the entire east and south-east coast, is responsible for the typical pattern of a well-watered coastal strip, a fairly narrow band of mountains, and then a vast, inward-draining plain which receives little rainfall. In the Gulf Country, however, there are no mountains to restrict rainfall to the coastal band and the transition from the profuse tropical growth of the seaside areas to the arid scrubs of central Australia is gradual.

Major rivers of the Gulf

The main street of , the commercial centre of the Gulf Country
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The main street of Normanton, the commercial centre of the Gulf Country

no:Carpentariabukten ja:カーペンタリア湾 pl:Zatoka Karpentaria

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