The Kimberley – Day 8 – Talbot Bay

The geography in Talbot Bay was very unusual. In most of the regions of the Kimberley the layers of rock were always oriented horizontally. Here they tilted as much as 80%. This was caused when the Indian and Australian plates pushed against one another.

Talbot Bay is also home to the Horizontal Falls, was a blast. We took a quick tour of the area first thing in the morning and saw the pinched rapids (the proper description of the Horizontal Falls). It was near the end of the Ebb tide so it was fairly calm. The effect is caused by gaps in the vertically aligned part of the McLarty range (>80 degree incline) with 11M tide fluctuations. Note the changes in the water flow and the water level on the side walls as the photos progess.

As the tide changes from Ebb to Flood and back, water in the bays equalizes with the ocean. Trillions of gallons of water will surge through two gaps, one 25M the other 12M wide, in a couple of hour period causing a 5-6 meter drop from one side of the gap to the other. The current is very impressive. After our zodiac tour, as the tidal flow increased, we went on a high speed boat through the gap. They compensate for the immense force of the water with 1200 horsepower of outboard motors (4 @300HP each) to ensure that we don’t hit the gap walls.

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