Story: Geology – overview

Pancake Rocks (2nd of 3)

Pancake Rocks

Pancake Rocks has irregular chasms and ridges, typical of limestone country. The layers of resistant bands of limestone are separated by softer, thin, mud-rich layers. This type of layering, found in limestones worldwide, is called stylobedding. Although the origin of stylobedding has been debated, it is mostly agreed that this layering is not original bedding, but a secondary feature caused by compaction. Erosion by water, wind and salt spray near the coast has etched out the stylobedding, forming the distinctive ‘pancakes’.

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Photograph by Simon Nathan

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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, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/8320/pancake-rocks (accessed 24 July 2019)

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