Navigation for Our Changing World
Uplifted - the Kaikoura shore after the earthquake
The Kaikoura Peninsula was uplifted by a metre, and this has had a profound impact on the rocky intertidal shore.
What was once hues of brown and green is now stark black and white. Photo Alison Ballance
Kaikōura Peninsula was uplifted by a metre when the 7.8M earthquake struck on 14 November. A month later the Neptune's necklace and seagrass on the intertidal flats are all dead. Photo Alison Ballance
Dead Neptune's necklace and seagrass at Wairepo Flats on Kaikōura Peninsula. Photo Alison Ballance
David Schiel has been studying the intertidal life of Wairepo Flats for 25 years, and is stunned by the coastal uplift. A few seaweeds are surviving in water in tidal cracks. Photo Alison Ballance
Uplifted shoreline on Kaikōura Peninsula.The reef platform is now more than a hundred metres wider than it used to be. Photo Alison Ballance
Panoramic view of uplifted coastline on the Kaikōura Peninsula.
Dead flapjack or seawrack (Carpophyllum maschalocarpum), at what used to be the lower edge of the intertidal zone. Photo Alison Ballance
Dead seaweeds have turned rock pools into a toxic, oxygen-less soup of tannins and leaching chemicals. Photo Alison Ballance
Limpets living in what used to be the low intertidal are surviving, but tens of thousands of limpets higher up the shore have died. Photo Alison Ballance
David Schiel surveys dead seaweed on a part of the shore he is intimately familiar with. Photo Alison Ballance
David Schiel walks through an area that was once the richest intertidal rock platform in New Zealand. Photo Alison Ballance
This area of the reef was permanent subtidal, but most of the flapjack is high and dry. Only the seaweed hanging in the tidal channel is surviving. Photo Alison Ballance
Uplift on the south side of the Kaikōura Peninsula. Photo Alison Ballance
Once flexible and brown, the dead seawrack is now black and stiffened, while the formerly pink coralline algaes have bleached white. Photo Alison Ballance
This bull kelp was once permanently submerged and has dessicated in the sun. Photo Alison Ballance
View across the newly uplifted shore platform from the Canterbury University marine laboratory towards the township of Kaikoura. Photo Alison Ballance
Dead limpet shells litter the shore. Photo Alison Ballance
David Schiel and Shawn Gerrity survey the intertidal shore, which is now almost devoid of life. Photo Alison Ballance
Jim and Deborah Mills working in the red-billed gull colony which has benefited from all the dead limpets and marine molluscs. Photo Alison Ballance
The white line marks the former lower edge of the intertidal zone. Photo Alison Ballance
The images in this gallery are used with permission and are subject to copyright conditions.