The water hole is where we had our morning coffee before we walked upstream along Arkaroola Creek in the direction of a side gorge (Bararranna Gorge), the road to Paralana Hot Springs, and Stubbs Waterhole.
The high walls of Arkaroola Creek creek are tillite (Merinjina Tillite?) I’d never seen anything like the walls of Arkaroola Creek. The material was ground up and transported as a result of a glacier moving down a valley; when the glacier melted, it deposited its entire load of materials or till.
The history of this tillite reaches back to around the Sturtian glaciation (672 million years ago). The radical Snowball hypothesis is that, the earth’s surface was entirely frozen from pole to pole and presumably, the effect of a Snowball event on the biosphere of Earth would have been catastrophic. How could life survive in such extreme conditions?
It is suggested that the microbiota existed during or after a Snowball event. In addition, the fossils found are similar to those found in rocks that immediately predate the glaciation event, further suggesting life survived this event. If so, then there must have been some open marine water for the microbiota to survive; or that the microbial life was able to adapt to shallow-water carbonate environments.
We had lunch at Bararranna waterhole but, unfortunately we lacked the time to explore the side gorge –Bararranna Gorge — with its interesting pebbles. We pressed on past Stubbs Waterhole with its 4 wheel drives in the car park and people wandering around, along the road and then into Arkaroola Creek. The tillite walls had gone.
We came to a junction with an old vehicle track (to Spotted Schist Pass) turned into and criss-crossed a pebbly creek bed with the Sturt Desert Pea on its banks. We followed the rough track, rather than the creek bed, back to our starting point on the Arkaroola Rd near the Welcome Mine.
I made some close up 5×4 photos of the rockface at Echo Cliffs after returning to the shearer’s quarters at Balcanoona.