I knew when i woke up that morning today was going to be a interesting
and fun day. We had plans of going to Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove.
Since i had done a blog assignment in November for Cathedral Cove i knew the
area some what and was excited. After hearing about Hot Water Beach i was
even more excited to see what it was all about. I admit i did not realize it was
so much of a tourist attraction but i started to realize when we got there i was
not one of them. I felt more like an academic, not just coming to learn the ways
in which the tourist were able to enjoy the natural processes giving them man
made hot tubs. I also imagined building a 4 or 5 foot deep hot tub filled with
bubbling water and seats i could build. Just my fickle imagination. It was still
fun trying to build a suitable hole where you could find a nice warm patch of
water underneath the sand. It was a great start to an adventure filled day.
The things we were learning that day we very incredible. Understanding the
geological processes that we could physically see going on and those that had
gone on 7 million years ago. The geothermal activity could be seen, well more
felt as it happened right there at that time. Deep under earth geothermal cracks
and vents were emitting extreme amounts of heat that filtered up through to
the surface, in some place it was incredibly hot even inches below the sand.
This heated the water, and when appropriately mixed with the cold ocean water
you had a nice relaxing hot tub, if built properly and strong enough.
We got to see ignumbrite rock which is a combination of volcanic ash and
pummus, that was created nearly 7 to 8 million years ago. Also we learned to
identify the pummus which was compared to small raisins in rice pudding which
was the matrix of ash. Also that phenocryst's are slow forming crystal pummus
chunks and tuffs are considered all ash by its self. Including these geological
properties we also saw some biological organisms including, Larus gulls, the
ever popular in New Zealand Pipi shell; Plebidonax deltoides species. Also the
common tua tua species Paphies subtriangulata, beach hooper or sand flea, and
amphipods and limpets that could not be identified. Some other biology we
saw were sea weed and Pahotakowa tree growing on the ignumbrite.