Story: Geology – overview

Limestone around Punakaiki (1st of 3)

Limestone around Punakaiki

A single band of Oligocene limestone, about 50 metres thick, is responsible for many of the distinctive topographic features around Punakaiki, on the West Coast. Shown here, the limestone sheet slopes gently to the south. On the left side it caps the hills, and has been dissected to form cliffs on both sides of the Pororari River. Punakaiki township is squeezed between the cliffs, the sea, and the Pororari River. The limestone descends to sea level, and at the coast has eroded to form the distinctive Pancake Rocks (far right).

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GNS Science
Reference: CN36159
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Geology – overview - New Zealand breaks away from Gondwana', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 February 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006