Topic: Strata - Beach One

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Beach One extends from the southern boundary of Gibbs’ Fishing Point, down (south) to the Pipeline.  It has high cliffs that are composed of interbedded mudstones and sandstones.  The top layer, quite thick in parts, consists of yellow/brown material.  This is derived from sand and volcanic ash.

The cliffs here are particularly susceptible to massive soil bleeds.  Towards the Pipeline, the cliffs are particularly crumbly or ‘rotten’.  My comments on my first visit on 18 January 2004 about the cliffs were:  “The first thing I noticed, apart from the great height of the cliffs, was their crumbling state.  Further along (walking north from the Pipeline) there were several large mud/soil avalanches that flowed down from the cliff tops like muddy glaciers.”

A reef extends a fair way out to sea just north of the Pipeline.  It is the only reef that is uncovered at low tide that I have observed on the Tongaporutu coastline.



18 January 2004  



This was the first time I accessed Beach One.  I described the reef as such:  “To my immediate right, a large reef protruded quite a way out into the sea.”  The reef was well endowed with mussels and barnacles.  There were also crabs, starfish and sponges.

I became intrigued by some of the rocks to the rear of the reef.  One rock that I photographed was small and roundish.  It was festooned with tiny broken shells.  Another, larger rock that I photographed was highly sculpted.

23 January 2004  

PHO2008-542, 548   (Examples only)




14 November 2005  

PHO2008-1510, PHO2008-1512

This reef is the only reef of its kind on the Tongaporutu coastline.  Specifically it is always exposed during low tide, irrespective of whether it is a high low tide or a low low tide.  Also, the majority of it is never covered over with sand so the reef supports healthy and stable populations of flora and fauna.



12 September 2007  

PHO2011-1040, PHO2011-1041

PHO2011-1040 was taken just before Cave Two.  It shows part of the cliff together with a couple of rocks that have fallen down from above and settled on a small ledge.  PHO2011-1041 shows some of the beautiful strata formation of the arch that is a part of the largest Fledgling rock stack.



3 June 2008  


This image, taken from above Beach One, shows the reef.  This substantial reef is the only one that I have observed from Rapanui North right down to White Cliffs that is never buried by sand.



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