Monthly Archives: March 2019
“Catlins coastline – deep, relentless forces buckle the layered land, hiding bays and beaches between long, low folds of mountains, with rugged rocky headlands, butting into the sea…”(local author)
Nugget Point, Tautuku beach, Curio bay, Slope Point…
“The Catlins” is a small region in the southeastern corner of the South Island of NZ – a wild and unspoiled area where time seems to have remained still; the south-east coastline has beautiful beaches, waterfalls and inland forests – a paradise for all… 🙂
nope, these are geological marvels, exposed by erosion of sedimentary rocks laid down from 65 to 13 million years ago, known as types of ‘concretions’ which are mineral-cemented masses that often form within layers of sediment. Geologic activity caused an uplifting of the mudstone out of the sea to create the cliffs along the beach. Within the many meters of sediment, the boulders remained encased. Over time, wave action eroded away the softer sediments to reveal the giant stones.
Moeraki Boulders, Otago coast, South island, NZ…
Each time the ocean excavates a new boulder, the newly exposed concretion rolls down onto the beach to join the others. Today, the shoreline is artfully arrayed with spheres that were preserved because of calcification that resisted erosion. Other ‘concretions’ around the world: Koutu – Hokianga District, North Island, New Zealand; Bowling Ball Beach, California, USA; Valley of Balls, Western Kazakhstan.
N.B. The word ‘concretion’ comes from two Latin words: crescere = ‘to grow,’ and con = ‘together.’