Story: Geology – overview

Papa cliffs, Hawke's Bay

Papa cliffs, Hawke's Bay

North of Cape Turnagain the cliffs are formed of soft grey mudstone (papa rock) deposited on the sea floor about 15 million years ago. The soft mudstone is being rapidly eroded by the sea, forming impressive cliffs and gullies. Similar soft rock underlies large areas throughout New Zealand, and is highly susceptible to erosion and landslides during heavy rainfall.

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GNS Science
Reference: CN7603/30
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Geology – overview - New Zealand reborn', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

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