Traveling north from Christchurch to Wakefield, we stopped to check out the Maruia Falls.  Like many New Zealand landmarks, these were formed by seismic movement along the Alpine Fault.  During the Murchison Earthquake of 1929 a huge landslip diverted the course of the Maruia River and forced it to cut a new channel over an old river bank.  Initially the falls were only about 1 meter high, but erosion has now lengthened the falls to around 10 meters.  The current in the pool below the falls is extremely swift and dangerous.  The pictures show the fractured strata which is so common along this Fault.

the earth’s deep groaning
as the Taniwha turns
in its long sleep

7 thoughts on “TORTURED EARTH

  1. You’re obviously enjoying my turangiwaewae, Maureen. Trust you continue to do so. Was raised in the nearby township of Hanmer Springs – and as a child, travelled on the Lewis Pass route with my Dad who was the NZR bus-driver who frequently took this road through Mariua to Westport. This experience (and his expressed disgust with the Forest Service and Ministry of Works clearances of beech forest which once fringed this route) spurred my lifelong commitment to conservation issues. Thanks for the post!

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