Australia-Oceania :: Australia
Caption
Located in the Northern Territory of Australia, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park hosts some of the world's most spectacular examples of inselbergs, or isolated mountains. The most famous of these inselbergs is Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). An equally massive inselberg located approximately 30 km (20 mi) to the northwest is known as Kata Tjuta. Like Uluru, this is a sacred site to the native Anangu or Aboriginal people. An English-born explorer named the highest peak Mount Olga, with the entire grouping of rocks informally known as "the Olgas." Mount Olga has a peak elevation of 1,069 m (3,507 ft) above sea level, making it 206 m (676 ft) higher than Uluru. In this astronaut photograph, afternoon sunlight highlights the rounded summits of Kata Tjuta against the surrounding sandy plains. Sand dunes are visible in the lower left, while in other areas (bottom and right) sediments washed from the rocks have been anchored by a variety of grasses and bushes adapted to the arid climate. Green vegetation in the ephemeral stream channels that drain Kata Tjuta (top center) provides colorful contrast with the red rocks and surrounding soils. Large gaps in the rocks (highlighted by shadows) are thought to be fractures that have been enlarged due to erosion. Image courtesy of NASA.
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