It’s a common belief that geology students are only in it for the field trips. Whilst this isn’t entirely true, one of the reasons I love geology is the opportunities which it provides to go out and visit new places whilst being able to see what you’ve been learning about in the classroom. Whilst I’m on my year abroad, it also provides a great opportunity to see more of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery. Therefore, this semester I’ve opted to take 3 fieldwork courses which is why last week I was back out in the great outdoors looking at rocks again.
The destination this time was Castle Hill Basin in the Southern Alps. It’s a stunning location, surrounded by mountains in all directions. We were working in the area for 4 days and were tasked with producing a geological map of the area. On day one the lecturers guided us through part of the area giving us a chance to see the main geological units making up the area, then for the rest of the trip we were let loose to map the area and deconstruct the structure and geological history of the area.
I won’t bore you with the intricate details about the sequence of folded and faulted sedimentary rocks which make up the area, instead here’s a few photos.
We were staying at the University of Canterbury’s Cass Field Station for the trip. The university has several field stations around New Zealand which provide fantastic facilities for learning and research by students and staff from a range of disciplines.
Now I’m back in Christchurch and the new term has properly begun, but that doesn’t mean no more fieldwork. Next weekend I’ve got another trip, this time to study fault rupture from the Kaikoura Earthquake in November.