Class 6/7 spend a day out learning about Geology and geo-morphology. First stop was the Motueka River bed. The river reaches far back into the mountains of North West Nelson and Kahurangi National Park. The mountains of NW Nelson contain some of the oldest and most complex rocks in New Zealand. Students learned how to identify the 6-7 most common rock types. We found rocks that had formed under volcanoes, yet there are now no active volcanoes in this area.
next stop was Stephens Bay to see in-situ granite, coastal processes and surprisingly, a black beach. All other beaches in this area have golden sand. We practiced Goethean Observation and tried to solve the riddle of the black sand. Another treat was the fresh outcrops of weathered granite and weak sandstone recently exposed by the cyclone Gita storm.
Final stop of the day was the beach by Motueka. The rocks and sand on the beach were very similar to the river bed so we guessed where they had come from. Although similar rock types we did notice the size and shapes were different, reflecting the different mechanical forces of erosion. The beach also had an estuary where mud and sand were accumulating and we imagined the process whereby they became mudstone and sand stone.