Fossils

Tracking Dinosaurs in NW Nelson

Greg Browne. Image Julian Thomson @ GNS Science In New Zealand there is only one area (with six individual locations not far from each other) in which dinosaur footprints have been identified. This is in NW Nelson in the South Island. They were discovered and researched by Greg Browne, a sedimentologist at GNS Science who …

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Global Catastophe in a thin rock layer

K-Pg boundary layer – when the Earth changed forever The K-Pg Boundary (or Cretaceous Paleogene boundary, or K-T boundary as it is still sometimes called) is a layer in the Earth’s crust that marks a very dramatic moment in the history of life on earth about 65 million years ago. There is a huge change …

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Waihi Beach Taranaki

The South Coast of Taranaki near Hawera has extensive rocky beaches lined by high crumbling cliffs. It is a great place for geology, but you should be wary of the potential for cliff falls, especially after rain. This is the view east from the Ohawe beach access point. A first look at the cliff from …

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Airedale Reef

Earlier this week I was up in Taranaki, exploring the geology of the area  with two GNS Science researchers Kyle Bland and Richard Levy. One of the sites we visited was Airedale Reef, a short walk east along the coast from the mouth of the Waitara River. There are spectacular remnants of an ancient forest …

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Fossil Favourites from GNS Scientists

GNS Science recently produced a new “Photographic Guide to Fossils of New Zealand”. It is a small, pocket sized booklet, packed with photos and information about many of our characteristic fossils. It also contains a very readable introduction to New Zealand geology, the fossilisation process and the geological history of New Zealand. You can find …

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A dynamic landscape in Hawkes Bay

Last week I was in Hawkes Bay with geologist Kyle Bland, who led a field trip for teachers, students and parents of Crownthorpe School. Hawkes Bay geology is a story of uplift along fault lines, combined with rapid erosion and deposition by rivers flowing from the inland mountain ranges. This story is etched into the …

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NZ’s First Reptile Discoverer returns to Mangahouanga

In 1958, Petroleum Geologist Don Haw was mapping the rocks in the Mohaka river catchment of Western Hawkes Bay. The project was part of a wide ranging exercise to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the East Coast basin at that time for BP, Shell and Todd.  His discovery of reptile bones in the Cretaceous sediments …

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Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers and the Clifton Cliffs make for a spectacular geological site in Hawkes Bay. The cliffs extend for several kilometres southwards from Clifton, on the coast near Hastings. They  are very high and consist of quite loose rocks, so it is important not to go too close where possible. It is also important to …

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