Friday, 23 October 2015

Through the Lewis Pass... And the Alpine Fault Line

 I left the Balmoral Reserve and drove the long straight
road through the majestic pine trees...

 Mountains and the sun glinting on the snow...

 The big South Island shingle rivers...

 Sheep farming country...

 And one of my favorite drives... The Black Beech trees
through the mountainous Lewis Pass...

 I found a small pull-over so I could stop for photos...

 It was a beautiful day and the sunlight through the
branches and leaves was magical...

 This was my next stop... A DoC camp area but totally
deserted, silence and nobody around...
 Although I did find a few cars parked as it's the beginning
of the walk to Lake Daniell... Six hours return, 17km
 or stay in the  hut overnight.

 I decided against doing that by myself. I had thought there
would be other people for company as it's a camping area
and a walk that had been recommended... Oh well next time.
I didn't want to get lost with no phone reception and I certainly
did not want to break another leg in the wilderness by
myself. Also the weather can dramatically change in the
mountains... I'll come again with some friends
as it looked a  great place by the Maruia River.

 However, I found this very interesting feature and
wandered over to investigate...

 The wall is 24 meters long and 1.4 meters deep, wider at the
bottom than the top. Most of it is underground.
It sits right across the Alpine Fault Line.

 Built by scientist Frank Evison, a pioneer in the field of earthquake
 prediction,  in 1964, he and his colleagues
wanted to see if they could measure movement in the
Alpine fault. The idea was that as one side of the fault moved
in relation to the other, it could be measured.
Since it has been built there has been no movement along
the fault so the theory is that it does not make small
movements but instead makes sudden large movements
which is typical of nearly all large active faults in
New Zealand and around the world.

It was a fascinating geography lesson... 

Frank graduated from Victoria University, Wellington with a 
BSc in physics in 1944 and a MA with Honours in mathematics in 1946.
In London Frank started to specialise in geophysics, gaining his PhD 
from the University of London. When working as a government scientist 
with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), 
Frank made one of his most well known discoveries – 
coal-seam guided S waves, eventually renamed ‘Evison waves’.
Read more about this remarkable man here.

1 comment:

  1. Hiya Angela, It is great to see you back on the road. My partner and I were up in Lewis Pass 2010 beautiful scenery, and know Waikuku Beach very well. Looking forward to see where you go next. Happy journeys. Regards, Katherine