The stratigraphy and sedimentology of Jurassic to Tertiary sediments within the Laura and Carpentaria basins in northeastern Australia show that the continental drainage divide here predates the onset of continental margin formation and has remained stationary since the Middle Jurassic. This result is contrary to models of the evolution of highlands adjacent to passive continental margins that state that divide migration associated with downwarping of the highland flank and widespread stream reversals and/or captures should occur following margin development. The results also show that a maximum of only 50 m of denudation could have occurred on the continental drainage divide here since the Cretaceous.

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