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Image Caption: STS008-48-2494 Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia September 1983
While most of the landforms in the geographic center of the continent are subdued, Ayers Rock (slightly right of center) and the larger Olgas structure (located west of Ayers Rock--middle left side of image) are impressive eminences that rise several thousand feet above the desert plateau. Ayers Rock, probably the most famous of the rounded sandstone monoliths, is coarse-grained, arkosic sandstone. The Olgas are comprised of massive conglomerate beds. Both structures display rounded surfaces covered by conspicuous exfoliation and are resistant erosional remnants. Located in Uluru National Park (approximately 300 miles--480 kilometers--southwest of Alice Springs), Ayers Rock is a popular tourist attraction visited by several hundred thousand visitors every year. A section of the Amadeus Depression, a generally northwest-southeast oriented structure, is expressed by Lake Amadeus, the highly reflective dry lake along the top of the image.