Sunday, 14 June 2020
Of course we expect winter to be cold and grey but with much to see and do around the region of Mandurah, WA it is no reason to be holed up inside. With woolly hats and jackets as insurance against even bleaker temperatures we set out down the coast to Preston Beach, stopping in at The Thrombolites of Lake Clifton on the way.
With a break in the weather we set out to the boardwalk and viewing platform to see these micro-organisms that were crucial in assisting scientists understand the life-history of the planet. They are immediately visible from the start of the boardwalk and form striking round-shaped, rock-like structures, with a limestone colour.
Scientists know little about the thrombolites and why they form at Lake Clifton, but one theory is that they form because the lake is associated with upwellings of fresh groundwater that is high in calcium carbonate. The micro-organisms living in this environment are able to precipitate calcium carbonate from the waters as they photosynthesise, forming the mineralised structure that is the thrombolite.
The thrombolites at Lake Clifton are fragile and the boardwalk and observation platform provide a safe way for visitors to enjoy the formation without damaging them.