Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Putangirua Pinnacles, New Zealand

The Putangirua Pinnacles are also known colloquially simply as The Pinnacles, which are a geological formation, consists of massive number of earth pillars or hoodoos located at the head of a valley in the Aorangi Ranges in Wairarapa region in New Zealand.  The Putangirua Pinnacles are large crumbly rock stalagmite type structures rising tens of metres into the air, left behind as the surrounding area erodes. Well, this hasn’t confirmed how long the pinnacles have been forming, but researchers believed it would be probably less than 125,000 years old with major erosion probably start 7000 years ago and go faster in the last 1000 years with the deforestation of the area. 

The Putangirua Pinnacles are one of New Zealand's best examples of badlands erosion. The Aorangi ranges were an island somewhere 7 to 9 million years old, when the sea levels were much higher with landmass was eroded as the time passes, large alluvial fans formed on its southern shores. The Island was submerged when the sea level rose again, but after the Ice ages, the sea level go back and old alluvial fans have been unprotected to the erosive forces of wind and water have weathered away the conglomerate. The shapes of the hoodoos gives the sense of the canyon that walked through it certainly gives this area other-worldly feel.  

However at several places, the conglomerate is secure from erosion above by a cap of cemented silt or rock, resulting in the formation of amazing Pinnacles. There are number of prominent fluting caused by rainwater running down their sides during massive storms. This area has been featured in many Hollywood movies. Moreover, there are two tracks here; one goes up the valley at the base of the pinnacles and climbs up in between them.  The hikers can hike up the valley follows a rocky stream bed, and is not the easiest path to see, but as long as you keep going up the valley you’ll be fine.

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