There was a moment, thirty odd years ago, when I considered switching from a social sciences degree to one in earth science — specifically geology. I like puzzles, and it’s always seemed to me that rocks contain all the clues necessary for a really good puzzle — if only one can read them.
Auckland, where I live, is built on around 53 volcanoes, and New Zealand generally is one of the most geologically active places in the world. Our rock formations then, are tapestries which tell of tectonic events on a monumental and destructive scale.
The cliffs of East Coast Bays, where these photos were taken, are comprised of sandstone; volcanic sediments deposited when Auckland was submerged under ancient seas.
One of the most fascinating things about a walk along the beaches under these cliffs, is how quickly one formation gives way to another. Not only do the depth and colours in the layers change — so does the direction. Within the space of a few metres, horizontal layers become almost vertical, deformed by the movement of faults in the base rock.
Zoomed out — another puzzle. What forces made these cool patterns in the sandstone?