The rock coast of New Zealand
Arthur Bloom once wrote, in a statement of posthumous appreciation of Sir Charles Cotton, that no New Zealand geomorphologist could ever really be away from the coast (Bloom 1974). It is true to that sentiment that, despite being few in number, geomorphologists working in New Zealand have made a significant and enduring contribution to our understanding of rocky coasts. In large part that contribution can be traced to the countries’ spectacular geographical setting and associated variety of rock coast landforms. In this chapter we summarize the geographical setting in which New Zealand’s rocky landscape is situated and describe the various lithological and process controls on landscape evolution. The remainder of the chapter provides a perspective on the contribution made by geomorphologists studying New Zealand’s rocky coast. That review is centred on three methodological epochs: (a) explanatory description; (b) emerging emphasis on measurement; and (c) process-based studies.
Figures & Tables
Rocky landforms dominate large portions of the world's coast. Cliffs and shore platforms form spectacular landscapes, yet when compared to other landforms they are relatively unstudied with many contemporary controversies dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. The past decade has seen a reinvigoration of research driven by advances in technology that now enable precise measurements of erosion to the micron scale and quantification of wave energy onto and through cliff edifices to be made, as well as being able to directly date rock surfaces. In order to integrate this diverse range of research this volume's regional approach first integrates the latest data with longstanding theory and then analyses this research through the boundary conditions that exist in each area. The volume brings together the research leaders in the field; includes chapters on nearly all the major rock coasts of the world and identifies future research needs.