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Landforms The geologic history and its climatic contrasts are reflected in the landforms.
By the time the water table gets close to the surface it has passed through these salt layers and so causes salinisation in the root zone and eventually at the surface, which makes the land useless for agriculture.
The ratio of shore length to land area of about 1 km of coast for every 390 km off the north coast are the only major islands.
Endorheic streams that flow to basins of internal drainage serve more than half of the continental area.
The result is the vast plains and plateaux of the Australian landscape.
There are not many areas above about 1700 m, and even at Mt Kosciusko, the highest point on the continent, it is less then 3000 m above sea level.
The soil over much of Australia, especially the dry central parts, have not been renewed by volcanic activity for a very long time and are impoverished compared to soils from most other parts of the world.