Friday, 20 August 2010

Looking at Blackhead



Almost every day I drive past the Blackhead headland and Quarry. Every time constant quarrying activity has moved more gravel piles, eaten away at the rock faces and the profile has been nibbled away like a slow methodical attack on a girl guide biscuit.

Last month a refreshing walk along Blackhead beach revealed more than a pretty reflection.


Rubble and rock from quarry spill overflow and scour the side of the headland, covering the spectacular columnar volcanic features and rare dwarfed native scrub. This area is protected by the 1991 covenant, where spill must not cover and destroy the natural rock formations and affect the vegetation.



10 comments:

The Dad Who Walks on 21 August, 2010 19:48 said...

Nic, are those rock formations relatives of the Organ Pipes?

nic on 21 August, 2010 22:59 said...

they are both examples of columnar jointed basalt rock columns.
There are some at lovers leap, and seconds cliff face, as well as the organ pipes at MtCargill as you mentioned..

Dunedin is a dissected basaltic shield volcano - a purely volcanic region. The Dunedin Volcano was built between 13 and 10 million years ago.

Also of international note, similar columns are found in Northern Ireland at the Giants Causeway and at Cape Raoul

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the quarry has to stop at some stage?

nic on 22 August, 2010 18:14 said...

Original plans were to mine the quarry to 50metres below sea level (like the logan park quarry) and then blast out the side and create a boat harbour. Due to the covenant, the quarry has to leave certain parts untouched, eventually quarrying will stop, but will continue for at least another 50 years. By then the headland will be unrecognisable.

Anonymous said...

WOW! that is sad to hear. Surfers Take Action.

nic on 23 August, 2010 20:54 said...

action is on its way, check out my other blog at http://friendsofblackhead.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

interesting article in ODT the other day in relation to Saddle Hill quarry and a handshake agreement regarding limit and extent of quarrying activities. Onus is on quarry operator to demonstrate they have existing use rights. WRT blackhead, quarry operator should be provided to demonstrate how they are protecting inherent natural values and should be subject to regular inspection. DOC should step up and be far more proactive rather than acting when they have been totally degraded...

Finny

Anonymous said...

They really need to stop pushing gravel and rock down the hill side! you can see rocks were there use to be no rocks all over the beach. Actually they need to stop all together before the hill stops acting as a wind break from Nor'easters. I know we need gravel for roads etc but surely there are less scenic areas to do this.

Anonymous said...

We need all these quarrys in dunedin and mosgiel,rock does not come from thin air! No Quarrys no roads,no houses,no concrete ,saddle hill quarry has been operating for over 140yrs-the first in dunners,blackhead over 40 yrs!!!Where is less scenic to quarry high quality basalt in dunedin and mosgiel that wont upset people?

nic on 06 February, 2011 13:33 said...

anon above.

the issue is the operation of the quarry within the 1991 covenant guidelines.
Agree quarries are a necessary evil for growth and development in otago.

 

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