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Murray mouth
Title : Murray mouth Murray mouth
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Creator : Angas, George French, 1822-1886, artist
Source : B 15276/43
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Thomas McLean
Date of creation : ca. 1846
Additional Creator : Giles, J.W.
Format : Book
Dimensions : 253 x 350 mcm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :


This illustration is part of South Australia illustrated, a publication in which Angas composed various scenes around South Australia including contextual information for each. The images are an excellent insight into how South Australia appearded before colonisation. Part of the text accompanying the illustration reads;

At the eastern extremity of Encounter Bay, the junction of the River Murray with the Southern Ocean takes place. A low sandy coast, completely open to the ocean, stretches away to the South East, forming the outer shore or sand-hills of the Coorung ... the dull chime of their waves is responded to by the harrowing shreiks of multitudes of sea fowl that resort thither. To the left is a sandy bluff, called Barker's Knoll ....

George French Angas comments further on the width of the channel, the strength of the current and the great surf rollers pounding the nearby shoreline.

The Murray Mouth was the scene of many disputes following the first settlement of South Australia in 1836: was the mouth safely navigable or not? Several smaller vessels managed to negotiate the mouth safely, but others did not. In the end the authorities decided that the mouth was not safe and alternative ways of transporting goods carried downstream by paddle steamer were found.

The mouth itself was affected by the control measures placed on the river in the 20th century, culminating in the barrages which separated Lake Alexandrina from the sea, maintaining fresh water for drinking and irrigation above the barrages, and sea water below.

Period : 1836-1851
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :

John Botting and Associates Murray Mouth project: effect of river flows on migration of the Murray Mouth [Adelaide]: Murray-Darling Basin Commission, 1990

South Australia. Murray Mouth Advisory Committee Investigations into the behaviour of the mouth of the River Murray [Adelaide]: The Committee, [1983]

Internet links :

Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth : South Australian Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation website

River Murray environment reporting : South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage website

State Library of South Australia, Treasures Wall South Australia illustrated



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