Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Ancient Forest Emerges From Beneath Takapuna Beach


Ancient Forest Emerges From Beneath Takapuna Beach

In recent days the sand near low water in the middle of Takapuna Beach, Auckland, has shifted and exposed the long buried remains of an ancient forest.

Many long-time locals say they have never seen it before, although some of the soft sticky mud that it is buried in has been uncovered in other parts of the beach on odd occasions in the past.


Auckland geologist Bruce Hayward visited the newly exposed fossil forest this week. “This is an exciting new discovery and is quite different and much older than Takapuna Reef’s famous fossil forest preserved in the lava flows from Pupuke Volcano”, he says.


“This new fossil forest consists of many small tree stumps in growth position in an ancient soil. It is clear that the trees became established on the surface of a thick white rhyolitic ash deposit, and in turn they have been buried and preserved by another thick creamy-white volcanic ash bed”. Similar thick rhyolitic ash and ignimbrite deposits occur in a number of low-lying parts of Auckland. Elsewhere they have been dated at close to 1 million years old and were erupted by gigantic explosive blasts from a volcano in the vicinity of Mangakino, near Taupo.

A similar sequence of white volcanic ash and peat occurs in Shoal Bay and was exposed a few years ago by earthworks when the Esmonde Rd interchange for the northern motorway was being enlarged. Similar aged fossil forests are permanently visible in eastern and southern Auckland in low sea cliffs at Pakuranga, Takanini and Waiuku.

“The fossil tree stumps and fallen branches and twigs are black, but they have not been burnt” says Dr Hayward, “instead they have been carbonised during their preservation and fossilisation. A specialist could study their cell structure and identify the kinds of trees present. Most of the trees are small and less than 15 cm diameter, but larger trees were in the neighbourhood as I found a large lump of kauri gum in the ancient soil.”

In places the volcanic ash has weathered to clays and is soft and sticky but in some places it has been hardened by remineralisation and some of these rocks stick up 30 cm above the present beach level.

History tells us that it will not be too long before the sands shift back and once again bury Takapuna Beach’s hidden secret – the oldest fossil forest on the North Shore.

Ends


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Court Ruling: Kiwifruit NZ Ordered To Consider Collaborative Marketing Proposals

The High Court has told kiwifruit marketer Zespri to reconsider collaborative marketing proposals from Splice Fruit and Seeka Kiwifruit to sell fruit offshore that its board had previously rejected. More>>

ALSO:

Electric Vehicles: No Road User Charges Feature In Govt Package

Drivers of electric vehicles won't have to pay road user charges and will be allowed to drive in bus lanes as part of a new government plan to double EV numbers annually to a target 64,000 by 2021. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Computer Emergency Response Team, Assemble!

John Key told the country's first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland that the government had earmarked funding set up a national Computer Emergency Response Team to help prevent and act on cyber incidents in partnership with the private sector and other organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Job Cutter Goes: Mark Weldon To Step Down As MediaWorks CEO

“When I joined MediaWorks in August 2014, I had a mandate to lead a significant change programme to bring the business back from receivership into a position where it could once again be a strong competitor in the market, with a sound and sustainable future. It was a big brief, laden with inherent challenges, but I took it in good faith and have dedicated myself fully to the goal since." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news