Wordless Wednesday

Mt Ngauruhoe reflected in a car rear-view mirror. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Behind me now. Mt Ngauruhoe in the rear-view mirror. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

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53 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday

    • Thanks Andy. It is a volcano — within the crater of an older, much larger volcano. It is fairly active. The last eruption I remember was when I was a teenager living about 80 miles from it. I remember the earthquakes and my dad hosing ash out of out roof gutters all the time. That part of NZ is very geologically active; lots of hot springs and bubbling mud.

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      • Really? New Zealand is geologically very active and if I think about it too much, I find it kinda scary. The whole middle of the North Island is a massive volcanic zone. Not only does it have the mountains which erupt fairly regularly (if modestly in recent times) but Lake Taupo (the country’s biggest lake) is a caldera, the result of two of the world’s largest volcanic eruptions. Nice hot springs though!

        Auckland, where I live, is built on about 53 volcanoes; the most recent eruption (about 600 years ago) produced a whole new island. The Auckland field tends to erupt in a new place each time, so we’ll eventually get a radically changed landscape somewhere. Land prices in Auckland being what they are, it’s difficult to know whether to worry about the potential destruction, or look forward to the eventual value of having a mountain emerge out of the back yard. Here endeth the geology lesson — hope you didn’t mind 🙂

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      • I love all aspects of geology Su, so it’s good to get to know a little about the volcanic geology of NZ 🙂 I hadn’t realised how active it was in your neck of the woods, it makes sense though, your on the Pacific Ring of Fire (no, I’m not accusing you of having too much curry last night!!! LOL!), it’s the areas where the Pacific oceanic plate is getting subducted under a continental plate, in your case the Australasia plate I think.
        I can understand why you would be a wee bit worried at times, but personally I can’t think of a nuch better place to live, it’s like living in Iceland, but with a much warmer climate and nicer people!!! 🙂

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      • I love geology too; seriously considered changing my whole degree so I could study it at one stage (too lazy in case you’re wondering why I didn’t)! NZ is definitely a country where you can’t help but see our geological past everywhere. Even a walk on the local beaches are a lesson in sea-level change and seismic activity. I haven’t been to Iceland so I couldn’t possibly comment, but I think the beer is cheaper here — and we definitely make better wine LOL!!

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      • You missed out on not doing a geology degree Su, but I’m a fine one to talk, I could have gone on to degree level after my geology HND, but at that point I knew I wouldn’t do enough work to get a degree!!!! So I ended up a geology technician instead. Of course, since leaving college, that’s when I started wanting to learn!!! 🙂
        Still, it’s brilliant these days, with the internet, it’s so easy to constantly learn new stuff 🙂
        You don’t know what you’re missing with the Icelandic wine!!!! It’s almost as famous as the Scottish wine industry Su!! LOL! 🙂

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      • The way Australia seems to be going Su, that could soon be the case 😦 Again, showing my ignorance, do you suffer from wild bush fires in NZ, or does the fact you’re surrounded by ocean keep the weather that much wetter? It’s always made me laugh when people know I come from Cornwall………….they always say how sunny it is down there…………that maybe true if you ignore all the rain and fog!!! LOL! 🙂 (Cornwall is all but surrounded by the sea).

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      • I must admit, I know Cornwall only through novels and one visit. Maybe I read very dark books, but when I think of Cornwall it’s of driving rain and moody cloud formations! We do get bush fires, mainly on the east coast, where it is much drier. They haven’t created the terrible devastation of fires in Australia and the American west, but each summer recently, parts of NZ have been declared drought areas.

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      • LOL!!! Su, you must have lived in Cornwall in a previous life, that’s the weather summed up perfectly!!! 🙂
        I’m being very unfair on Cornwall, it does get some sunny days 🙂
        Wow, I’m surprised that any parts of NZ suffer from droughts. I’m equally surprised that it’s the east that is drier, that’s the same as it is in the UK. I would have guessed that your west would have been the driest side, only because I think your weather systems rotate the other way around to ours.

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      • I suspect our droughts are as much a result of human activity as anything. We farm intensively, and have replaced natural eco-systems with large-scale pine forests.
        I think our weather comes from the west; I can certainly see rain coming across the Waitekere Ranges on the west coast from my office window. Rule of thumb is that if I can’t see the radio mast on top of the ranges, I should probably go and take the washing in 🙂

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      • I didn’t realise NZ had the US problem of intensive farming…………………I’m discovering there’s an awful lot I don’t know about your wonderful country Su (well wonderful in many aspects, if not on the farming and forestry front!!). Great that you have what sounds like a mountain range to look out at from your office window!! 🙂
        And that certainly sounds like your weather comes from the west!

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      • It is still a beautiful place and I appreciate how much we have to enjoy and be grateful for living here. I just wish we were better at protecting it, especially — as you’ve said — for future generations.

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      • You had started to get me worried Su, I was beginning to think of NZ as being like central USA, with fields the size of countries! It’s good to hear that there are still plenty of beautiful places and habitats left, and that there are people who are willing to fight for the preservation of what you do still have 🙂

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      • I was just checking out something on Google maps Su, and thought I would have a look at NZ, it turns out that North Island is right on the edge of the Pacific plate, but South Island is 500 miles or so from it’s edge……………..I’m only guessing, but is South Island less geologically active?

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      • Actually no; the Southern Alps, which run up the South Island are the result to two plates colliding. The fault then runs through Cook Strait and Wellington before heading east and out to see around Gisborne I think. As the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 proved, the South Island if geologically very active. They don’t call us “the shaky isles” for nothing!

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      • Of course, I remember hearing about the earthquakes, they were quite bad ones 😦
        That’s fascinating about the fault, and I should have guessed about the two plates colliding, hence the mountains (I’ve watched Lord of the Rings, so I’ve seen the mountains!!! LOL!). You certainly know your geology Su, it’s brilliant!!! 🙂

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      • Thanks 🙂 Yes, there have been on-going earthquakes in Christchurch, including two that were very large. In the second 185 people died; most of them due to the collapse of one building.

        I think I remember reading that the guy who developed techtonic plate theory was a Kiwi and he got the idea from the Southern Alps. But that could be an apocryphal tale. 🙂

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      • From what I can remember from A Level geology, we were taught that it was Alfred Wegener who developed the idea of continental drift and plate tectonics…………I’d always assumed he was German or Austrian, but he could be a Kiwi 🙂

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      • No you’re right. Thanks to Mr Google, I’ve discovered that I was thinking of Harold Wellman, a NZ-based geologist who was the first to recognise the significance of the Southern Alps as a Fault. He had no formal training, but had read Wegener’s work and saw the connections apparently. Wellman was considered a crackpot for a while before people realised he was right.

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