- Black River
- Ross River
- Haughton River
- Barratta Creek
- Burdekin Delta
- Upstart Bay Catchments
- Abbot Bay Catchment
- Don River
The coastal range in these areas is derived from acid volcanic, acid igneous and sedimentary rocks. The coastal plain is formed from superficial sand, gravels and silt deposits derived from the coastal range or deposited by the Burdekin River. The lower reaches of the Burdekin River comprise levees, floodplains and the Burdekin Delta, which is the largest on the Australian east coast. Granite basement rock outcrops from isolated coastal hills, rocky capes and offshore continental islands. Other coastal landforms include extensive marine plains with pans, tidal creek channels and estuary complexes, elevated beach ridge and dune systems, beaches, sand spits, and shallow embayments. Rainfall is high and soils are deep, but leached and strongly weathered. With the exception of younger alluvial soils, fertility is generally poor. Near coastal areas have humic gleys and acid sulphate soils that have formed in anaerobic marine swamp environments during previous elevated sea levels.
Coastal areas are more intensively settled and have better access to water than inland areas. The main agricultural enterprise is sugar cane production. There are also limited areas of beef cattle grazing and irrigated horticulture (Roth et al. 2002). Almost all of the Dry Tropics Catchments major population centres are located along the coastal strip.
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