Topic: Stacks - Twin Creeks
Twin Creeks is situated between Beach Two and White Cliffs. It is a highly active erosion site. There are large, impassable bluffs at both the northern and southern boundaries. Twin Creeks is so named because two creeks drain into it. One from the northern end of the beach and the other from the southern end. Specifically, they access the horseshoe shaped main beach that is easily accessible from the low lying land here. A second beach curves away from a slightly jutting promontory and ends at the large northern impassable bluff. The ‘gateway to the main horseshoe shaped beach has an arch at its northern end and a large, blind cave at its southern (seaward as opposed to landward,) end. In the middle is a rock stack that I call the MIDDLE ROCK. In the beginning this rock stack didn’t have a name. I later called it the H shaped rock, before settling on the ‘Middle Rock’.
MIDDLE ROCK. The Middle Rock is composed of two rock stratas. The top strata is interbedded mudstone and sandstone while the lower rock strata is mudstone. There are two smallish through holes in its middle. One hole is slightly larger than the other. The seaward entrances of both holes are larger on the seaward sides than the landward sides.
This was my first time at Twin Creeks. My original notes state: “... and a largish rock stack. This in turn had two through running small arches developing.” The photo was taken from the southern promontory that separates Twin Creeks from Whitecliffs. This view looks north along the coast. The rock stack is just south of the Twin Creeks cliff which is sloping/slumping steeply south. The image shown here is more of a location shot.
The day was wrapped up in a blanket of cloud. No wind and rain was forecast. I didn’t photograph immediately upon arrival as I was wanting to go through the stock tunnel to photograph White Cliffs before it rained. The only photo I have with the rock stack in it, was taken from the cliff top looking down and north along the beach. (Vertical shot.) This was to capture two fishermen who were fishing there. Down on Twin Creeks beach proper, I photographed practically everything but the rock stack! PHO2008-469 is strictly speaking, a location shot, similar to the photo taken on the 19th November.
I drove down to Twin Creeks to get a nice sunset shot of the area. I got a couple of nice shots with the sun low in the frame. And for good measure, a lone black backed gull was perched atop the rock stack. As this, the landward side of the rock stack was shaded, it turned out as a black silhouette.
8.2.2004 PHO2008-662-663, 670
CLIFF SEQUENCING. Due to the rains we have had, the Twin Creeks were in flood mode, but weren’t raging torrents. It was hot and fine with a choppy and surprisingly warm sea, like tepid bath water. I finally got some good images of the middle rock stack, both from the seaward side and from the landward side. The landward side one though is shadowed due to the angle of the sun. The two through holes are quite small at this time. The rock stack itself resembles a slumbering hippo.
29.2.2004 PHO2008-688-689, PHO2011-2155
SUPER-STORM EVENT. Super-Storm Three. This was the final storm in a trilogy of storms that hit on three successive weekends. This particular storm delivered the most rain. On Saturday it deluged down – a mini monsoon. As the road had all but liquified, I had to trudge all the way down to Twin Creeks on foot. The wind was biting cold and my nose kept running. As if there wasn’t enough water around without me adding to it! The sea state was wild, huge, frothy, beligerent; she was a snarling tigress today. I climbed atop a knoll above the fractured road and took a series of images sweeping from south to north with the rock stack anchoring the centre. As I stood, my woolly hat kept threatening to blow off and the plastic supermarket shopping bag that I use to protect the camera from salt spray, almost blew away before I was ready to briefly remove it.
I haven’t been down to Twin Creeks in over a year. The day was overcast, but there was little wind. The middle rock stack appeared to be little changed as did its two ‘slit eye’ holes. They hadn’t expanded. I climbed up the cliff above the southern creek and took some images looking down on Twin Creeks which included the rock stack. With PHO2008-1478 I used a polariser.
Aside from my feet, PHO2008-1477 shows the slit at the southern end of the rock stack while PHO2008-1480 shows the slit at the northern end of the rock stack.
4.1.2006 PHO2007-217, PHO2008-1539-1543
Stormy conditions have prevailed with very high winds for a while. I wanted to photograph storm conditions at Twin Creeks, something I haven’t done properly before. The surf was boiling. A lot of foam was backed up against the northern creek, along with loads of logs. After lunch the sun came out so I was able to get a variety of images, some of which included the rock stack.
27.10.2007 PHO2011-1073, 1076, 1080
The weather was fine with a cool south-easterly. When I arrived at Twin Creeks, I was amazed to see that the Middle Rock which had previously had two holes punched through it, had LOST ITS ENTIRE MIDDLE SECTION. I immediately thought it looked like a squashed H and called it the H Shaped Rock. The hole at the southern end remains intact, whereas the smaller, northern hole has gone, along with the middle section. The surviving hole is larger on the seaward side than the landward side. I took several images of the H Shaped Rock, both close up and in a wider context.
9.3.2008 PHO2011-1179-1181, 1184-1185, 1187-1188
I especially came to Twin Creeks to record the rapid destruction of the Middle Rock. (I now decided on a name change from the H Shaped Rock to the Middle Rock).
The weather was cloudy with a brisk westerly. Another chunk of the middle had gone. Specifically, as with the original middle section collapse observed on 27.10.07, it was the top interbedded mudstone and sandstone strata that had been primarily affected.
Sandstone, due to its lack of fractal honeycombing, though it is subject to irregular small scale collapses, it is particularly susceptible to irregular catastrophic collapses. That is, propensity for large chunk removal. Specifically, the wider the sandstone strata seam, the more vulnerable it is to large scale fracturing. Conversely, because the lower mudstone (papa) rock strata does have fractal honeycombing (similar to the Keyhole at Te Kawau Pa,), it is not so prone to one off catastrophic collapses. Rather, it tends to be carved off in small chunks, but on a fairly regular basis. Once the top predominant sandstone strata was smashed out of the centre of the Middle Rock, then the more vulnerable lower honeycombed mudstone strata was exposed to through wave smashing to which it is particularly susceptible.
I also noticed a huge crack going through the southern tall rock portion that remained. I took a number of photos from different viewpoints, both close-up and distant, plus from the landward and seaward sides. Unfortunately, some of the images later turned out to be a bit under-exposed, but when scanned and converted to digital, this can be corrected. I also took a close up of the surviving through hole from the landward side. The sea is visible through the hole. I also photographed the hole from the seaward side. The hole has grown in extent.
I wanted to re-visit Twin Creeks to see if the large crack bisecting the southern tall rock section had been smashed off by waves. That is, the rock section on the northern side of the crack. I believed that it would have been.
The sunlight was diffused due to wispy white cloud. It was stinking hot with absolutely no wind, although a moderate swell was running. Upon arriving at Twin Creeks, I could confirm that the large chunk of rock on the northern side of the crack had been carved off. Some rock debris was scattered up the beach towards the road, but not much. I assumed that it had been smashed off during the past couple of weeks, but within the last month for sure! Some big surf was splooshing through the centre of the Middle Rock. The northern part of the H of the Middle Rock resembled an Easter Island moai from a particular angle. I took a number of images from different angles and distance to illustrate the evolution of the Middle Rock. The waves here, due to the topography and how the beach slumps rapidly away on the seaward side at times, are prone to dumping, smashing, sloshing and backwash, thus they cause considerable damage.
3.6.2008 PHO2011-1234-1237, 1876
The weather at Twin Creeks was fine. There was no wind, the sea was glassy but with a slight swell. I didn’t notice any further damage to the Middle Rock, but presumably more honeycomb chunks have come off the lower section, just not enough for me to be aware of. I took a series of images from different perspectives, one of which included some sheep on the Whitecliffs Walkway.
I haven’t been able to access Twin Creeks due to it being closed three months for lambing. It was fine with high, light cloud and blue sky. The Middle Rock was still intact, though the northern portion that featured the Easter Island Moi appeared to have lost some material. Overall the Middle Rock seemed smaller and quite weathered – worn down. Again, I took a series of photos from different angles.
It was a wet, miserable day. The tide was going out, but there was a big sea running. The northern remaining section of the Middle Rock looks set to be demolished in the near future. It appears to have lost more from the northern section. I took several photos showing the impact of waves.
I have done my five yearly cliff sequencing, but if I cannot complete it within a 6 month period, then I scrub around what I was unable to do in the timeframe. This time around I was unable to do any cliff sequencing on Beaches One and Two, nor at Twin Creeks and Whitecliffs. Part of this also had to do with cost and being despondent.
I wanted to go down to Twin Creeks as I hadn’t been down for ages. Unfortunately, due to the cliff at the Locked Gate having eroded almost right back to the road, I couldn’t take my car down, so had to walk all the way down. I had borrowed Adam Buckle’s 6x17 Fuji panoramic film camera for the day. (I later purchased it.) I planned to use this camera to photograph at Twin Creeks. Also up on the farm looking south to Whitecliffs and north along the coast. The northern view would include Twin Creeks, Beach Two, etc. It was calm weather with high, light grey cloud. I also wanted to document the Middle Rock before everything down there is closed off for lambing from June to September. With the panoramic camera I hoped to get an all in view of the Twin Creeks beach in the one frame, rather than take several images that have to be stitched together.
Down at Twin Creeks, the northern section of the Middle Rock that resembled an Easter Island moai had been destroyed. Also, the hole bisecting the southern surviving section had enlarged. The Middle Rock appeared to have been cut in half. It hadn’t but the high beach level made it look as if it had. Overall, it continues to lose mass and shrink due to wave action and weathering.
18.10.2009 PHO2011-1913, 1916
The Middle Rock is still there and the protruding or upper south portion remains intact. The hole bisecting the top of this portion from the base appears to be enlarging. Interestingly, The fractal honeycombing that was present earlier has now been completely smoothed out by wave action. This makes it more stable as a smooth surface is less susceptible to friction – water can freely flow over it. The whole rock stack though has a tired, rounded, worn down appearance. It looks like a giant sand castle that has had water spilled over it, rounding off its features.
Though I passed by Twin Creeks, my main objective today was to document White Cliffs. However, I did notice that the hole in the southern remaining portion of the Middle Rock had enlarged quite a bit. I think this winter will see it being a goneburger. I didn’t take any photos here.