Friday, July 19, 2013

A visit to Tunnel Beach

Without a car, it's a bit difficult to make it out of town here in Dunedin. We've made friends with some other folks who own cars, who have been nice enough to invite us on trips out of town. Last fall (spring in the northern hemisphere) our friend Luke, the scientific illustrator in the geology department, took us down to Tunnel Beach southwest of Dunedin. It's a beautiful spot, and famous for its fantastic exposures of the Caversham Sandstone - a pervasively bioturbated, thick, and monotonously bedded middle to outer shelf sandstone deposited during the early Miocene. A few cetaceans have been recovered from the unit, including some kentriodontids studied by my former labmate Gabriel Aguirre-Fernandez, and some other bits. It is generally considered to be coeval with the Mt. Harris Formation, a shaley unit that overlies the late Oligocene Otekaike Limestone further north in the Waitaki river region.

 The view back east towards Dunedin and the peninsula from the top of the hill.

 The sea cave at Tunnel Beach.

The view west along the cliffs towards Black Head and Brighton.

Sarah getting a bit closer to the edge than her mother appreciates.

 Sarah on the point at Tunnel Beach.

View east from Tunnel Beach.

1 comment:

Travis Park said...

It's a beautiful spot, Felix & Ikerne took me there when I was over in January. Did you see the cetacean vertebrae about 5m up the cliff face on the west side of the beach, they're pretty eroded. Felix was aware of them when I pointed them out to him. I have pics if you want to check them out.