Monitoring of aboriginal rock art and its environment

Murujuga (Burrup) Peninsula near Karratha

Map of Murujura National Park location in Western Australia. Shipping lanes are shown in blue.

Curtin Uni-UOW project

Murujuga Rock Art Monitoring Project (MRAMP)


  • WA’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
  • Calibre (Project management)
  • Curtin University (Air Quality, Geology, Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Statistics)
  • University of Wollongong (Statistics)

Aerial view of Murujuga Peninsula

Rock art (petroglyphs)

One of many rocky outcrops

Kangaroo petroglyph

Fish petroglyph

Rock art exposed to the atmosphere

Proximity of rocks to industry

Fertilizer, urea, and liquid natural gas plants


The purpose of MRAMP is to monitor, evaluate and report on the changes in the integrity or condition of the rock art. It is designed to determine whether anthropogenic emissions are accelerating changes.  

Research questions

  • Where? (Spatial)
  • When? (Temporal)
  • How? (Monitor)
  • What? (Colorimetry, Air Quality)
  • Why? (Science)

Statistical scientific sampling

Rock types on the Murujuga Peninsula

Air-quality sampling frame


Fieldwork (Murujuga - Karratha - Dampier)

A stop at the Red Dog statue near Dampier (Adrian B. and Noel C.)

Setting up samplers

Delivery of samplers

A monitoring site 

Ancient past face-to-face with industrial plants

Record of ancient past

Industrial development

A million petroglyphs

  • Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) and its Group of Elders are custodians of the rock art, some of which are over 30,000 years old.
  • Large national and multinational companies generate enormous industrial activity nearby.
  • DWER-Calibre-Curtin-UOW are "scientific umpires" doing world’s-best-practice research on the integrity of the rock art.