Geelong - Geography

Geography

Geelong is located on the shores of Corio Bay, a south-western inlet bay of Port Phillip. During clear weather, the Melbourne skyline is visible from areas of Geelong when viewed across Port Phillip. The Barwon River flows through the city to the south before entering Lake Connewarre and the Barwon River estuary at Barwon Heads before going into Bass Strait.

Geologically the oldest rocks in the area date to the Cambrian period 500 million years ago, with volcanic activity occurring in the Devonian period 350 million years ago. In prehistoric times water covered much of the lowlands that are now Geelong, with the Barwon River estuary located at Belmont Common, the course of the river being changed when Mount Moriac erupted and lava was sent eastwards towards Geelong.

To the east of the city are the Bellarine Hills and the undulating plains of the Bellarine Peninsula. To the west are the sandstone derived Barrabool Hills and basalt Mount Duneed, and the volcanic plains to the north of Geelong extend to the Brisbane Ranges and the You Yangs. Soils vary from sandy loam, basalt plains and river loam to rich volcanic soils, suitable for intensive farming, grazing, forestry and vineyard plantation.

Many materials used to construct buildings were quarried from Geelong, such as bluestone from the You Yangs and sandstone from the Brisbane Ranges. A small number of brown coal deposits exist in the Geelong region, most notably at Anglesea where it has been mined to fuel Alcoa's Anglesea Power Station since 1969. Limestone has also been quarried for cement production at Fyansford since 1888, and Waurn Ponds since 1964.

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