Australian Alps

Australian Alps
a mountain range in SE Australia. Highest peak, Mt. Kosciusko, 7328 ft. (2234 m).

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Mountain range, southeastern Australia.

The mountains form the southern end of the Great Dividing Range and the watershed between the headstreams of the Murrumbidgee River and the rivers flowing south to the Pacific Ocean. The highest peak is Mount Kosciusko. The valleys of the Australian Alps have been used for grazing, while the highlands have seen scattered mining ventures.

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▪ mountains, Australia
      mountain mass, a segment of the Great Dividing Range (Eastern Uplands), occupying the southeasternmost corner of Australia, in eastern Victoria and southeastern New South Wales. In a more local sense, the term denotes the ranges on the states' border forming the divide between the watersheds of the Murray River system, flowing west, and the Snowy and other streams flowing southeastward directly to the Pacific. The name Alps is applied there not because of special structural features but for the general characteristics of massiveness and of being snow-clad for five to six months each year. The mountains are the highest on the continent, reaching 7,310 feet (2,228 m) at Kosciusko (Kosciusko, Mount); yet the loftiest peaks are rather unremarkable prominences set upon a broad, gently undulating highland surface. The timberline lies at 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Because of strong vertical movements of the Earth in this region, many streams have eroded “valley in valley” forms. These valleys and basins and lower uplands are used for grazing. The rocks of the highlands, extensively, if not richly, mineralized, have seen many small scattered mining ventures in the past. Water catchments for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation, summer grazing for beef cattle, year-round tourism, and winter sports, are now well-developed. The region is also highly valued by conservationists, who vigorously oppose some of the established uses of the land, including cattle grazing in certain areas.

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Universalium. 2010.

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