Dataset: Physiographic Regions of Australia



This dataset and its metadata statement were supplied to the Bioregional Assessment Programme by a third party and are presented here as originally supplied.

The Physiographic Regions of Australia (Pain, Gregory, Wilson and McKenzie 2011) are a modification of those compiled by Jennings and Mabbutt (1977), and are based on a visual interpretation of landforms as expressed on the Shuttle Radar Terrain Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM). Apart from its descriptive role, a map of physiographic regions provides a regional system of reference for geomorphological and related physical geographical accounts. Through the groupings of physiographic regional characteristics at different levels, the action of underlying controls, for instance geologic or climatic, may be made apparent. Further, the map can provide a regional basis for an understanding of land characteristics that are dependent upon landforms, for example the distribution of soils or natural vegetation. Jennings J.N. and Mabbutt J.A. (1977) Physiographic outlines and regions. In 'Australia, a geography. Volume 1. The natural environment.' (Ed. DN Jeans) (Sydney University Press: Sydney).

Dataset History

The Physiographic Regions were digitized or scanned from line work on 1:1 000 000 maps of elevation (SRTM 90m), shaded with an illumination in the NW. Lines were drawn onto the maps (with 4B pencils), by comparing the original lines of Jennings and Mabbutt and the landform patterns that could be seen in the SRTM hill shaded data. State and territory agencies provided corrections and updates to this initial line work, which were also digitized. Line work in Western Australia has been altered significantly, so that it approximates to an aggregation of the state soil landscape survey boundaries.

The 1:100 000 Geoscience Australia Coastline (2004) has been used, rather than state specific line work, to provide national consistency. Attributes within the accompanying database were attached to the polygons via the region_id.

Dataset Citation

CSIRO (2011) Physiographic Regions of Australia. Bioregional Assessment Source Dataset. Viewed 14 June 2018,

General Information