Friday flip through the archives: on beach walks and reading the stories of the land

This seemed appropriate for a Friday flip; both in terms of the current Daily Post theme of textures, and the conversations I’ve been having with Andy from Eye For a Pic about the geology of my hometown (and his), and of these “Shaky Isles” on which I now live.

Zimmerbitch

Waitemata sandstone; the sedimentary rock that forms the cliffs around much of Auckland's shoreline. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015 Waitemata sandstone; the sedimentary rock that forms the cliffs around much of Auckland’s shoreline. Castor  Bay, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

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.

Waitemata sandstone, with layers of iron and other minerals. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015 Waitemata sandstone, with layers of iron and other minerals…

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21 thoughts on “Friday flip through the archives: on beach walks and reading the stories of the land

  1. It does make you wonder what kamikaze instinct leads people to build a home there, but it sure looks beautiful from the photos I’ve seen. Have a happy weekend, Su, and thanks for the visit 🙂 🙂

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    • NZ generally? Or sandstone cliffs? NZ is an incredibly benign country apart from the small matter of straddling tectonic plates. And waking up to cliff-top views of the Waitemata Harbour would definitely seem worth the risk of losing a bit of garden to the sea occasionally 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post Su (and thanks for the plug as well 🙂 ), and great photos of the well and truly fractured sandstones, with the ubiquitous iron staining, no doubt from the very prolific volcanic sources. It’s hard to imagine there being any sedimentary rocks left in Auckland, with that much volcanic activity! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful shots, Su! I´m a big fan of geology as well, even was part of a little paleontological-geological excavation in the Eiffel – a region in Germany where lie many dormant volcanoes. We´ve been excavating the bottom of a caldera and it was just a brilliant experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am no geologist, but I am fascinated by rocks and the various layers and levels therein. Imagining places that were once under the sea and now are mountains makes my head hurt, but in a good way. Touching rocks that are 60 million years old makes me feel very insignificant. Our planet is truly amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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