All posts filed under “New Zealand Geology

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Were there dinosaurs in New Zealand’s Jurassic Fossil Forest at Curio Bay?

In the Jurassic you could have walked from what is now the fossil forest at Curio Bay in southernmost New Zealand (see featured image), to Australia, or Antarctica. Both continents were then part of Gondwana, and Curio Bay was somewhere near Gondwana’s coast. Did dinosaurs… Read more

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New Zealand’s Hawks Crag Breccia – prelude to the drift from Gondwana

The New Zealand road network has some seriously quirky idiosyncrasies – little things we locals take for granted, but can cause some alarm to the ever-increasing number of tourists. There are, for example, hundreds of ‘one lane’ bridges. And about these,  I was once asked,… Read more

Fossil leaf from Early Eocene New Zealand
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Five Degrees of Global Warming – The Leaf Fossils of Kakahu, New Zealand

Sometime in the 1980s my Prof, ‘JDC’ (Doug Campbell of the Otago University), showed me a box of spectacular leaf fossils that had been collected from Kakahu by Graeme Mason while “out rabbiting”. Kakahu is a farming district in the hills, a few kilometres out… Read more

Bannockburn Formation of the Miocene Manuherikia Group, exposed at Galloway, New Zealand
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The Giant ‘Lake Manuherikia’ – an extinct lake from the New Zealand Miocene

Alexandra lies at the junction of the Clutha and Manuherikia Rivers. The usual translation of the Maori word ‘Manuherikia’ is that it means something like “cry of a tied bird” and records a scout tying a weka (a bird) to a stake to mark the crossing… Read more

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The Highlands Motorsport Park ‘Jurassic Forest Safari’

Growing up in Alexandra it inconceivable that Cromwell might somehow overtake Alex. Alexandra was The Hub. Cromwell was the little place you passed through on the way to the little villages of Queenstown or Wanaka, where you holidayed. But things have happened in Cromwell, and… Read more

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Beetroot with your Peanut Butter and Marmite? The basic geological structure of New Zealand

New Zealand must be one of the best places on the planet for geology. We are famous among tourists for having so much variety of landscape in such a small area – you don’t have to drive far to see something totally different. This goes… Read more

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The Marshall Paraconformity – a 30 year geological debate in New Zealand

Cut back to the late 1970s – I was a schoolboy and had found my way into the Burnside Marl Pit, Dunedin (southern New Zealand) and up to the unit of greensand that is exposed on the hill side at the far end. Greensand is… Read more

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Cladophlebis – New Zealand’s Mesozoic Weed

The fern Cladophlebis is probably the single-most common plant fossil in the New Zealand Jurassic. It’s present in virtually every plant fossil site of that age, so much so that Mildenhall (1974) referred to it as ‘Mesozoic weed’. When New Zealanders talk about ‘fern rock’,… Read more

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Is New Zealand in the Anthropocene?

Has New Zealand recently entered an entirely new period of time? You may have caught up with the proposal that the world is now in a new era of time – the Anthropocene. Geologists have previously told us that we lived in the period called… Read more

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Is New Zealand in the Anthropocene?

Has New Zealand recently entered an entirely new period of time? You may have caught up with the proposal that the world is now in a new era of time – the Anthropocene. Geologists have previously told us that we lived in the period called… Read more