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Moeraki boulder fragments, New Zealand

Moeraki boulder fragments, New Zealand

E460/0469

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Credit

ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Moeraki boulder fragments, New Zealand. These fragments originally formed a Moeraki boulder. The Moeraki boulders are an example of structures known as septarian concretions, a form of hard sedimentary rock that is usually spherical in shape. As the surrounding, softer, rock is eroded away, the concretions are left behind. Sometimes, as seen here, they are shattered by other erosion processes such as the action of frost. It is thought that the Moeraki boulders formed some 60 million years ago. They weigh several tonnes and can be 3 metres across. They are found along the shoreline of Koekohe Beach, near Hampden, in the south-east of New Zealand's South Island.

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