The Geology of Shark Bay

Shark Bay World Heritage Area covers more than 2.2 million hectares and has a coastline more than 1,500 km long. It features landscapes and seascapes both colourful and diverse.Peron Peninsula in the east has rolling red sand hills interspersed with strange salty hollows, known as birridas. The white dunes and rocky outcrops of Edel Land, in the west, end abruptly where the Zuytdorp Cliffs plunge into the sea.

This geology is simultaneously ancient and modern and ever-changing. Land that was dry during the last ice age is now flooded, and seagrasses grow where wallabies once roamed. Sediments trapped by seagrass meadows have created underwater barriers, affecting the sea’s salinity, tidal flow and ecosystem. The influence of these plants on the geology, chemistry and biology of Shark Bay is a World Heritage value.