Auckland Shell Club
Dr. Bruce Hayward is one of New Zealand’s foremost scientists, and we were honoured to once again have him as our guest speaker for the evening. This was his tenth talk to our club (the first being in 1974), and as usual it was very well presented and illustrated. Bruce has a wide range of interests and has authored more than a dozen books - most recently the magnificent Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide. He is an expert on modern and fossil foraminifera in the marine environment around New Zealand and the South-west Pacific.
Foraminifera are microscopic shell-bearing Protozoa. Their abundance as fossils in ancient marine sediments makes them useful for determining the age and depositional environments of New Zealand's abundant sedimentary rocks. Studies that relate the distribution of living foraminifera to environmental influences (e.g. salinity, nutrient levels, tidal elevation, water depth, oxygen concentrations, etc) are used to determine past environmental conditions. This environmental data underpins a variety of geological and marine studies including record and prediction of climate change, recent sea-level rise, earthquake frequency and magnitude, human-induced changes in sediment, pollution and freshwater run-off into estuaries and harbours, sedimentary basin analysis, hydrocarbon and mineral exploration, and geological mapping.
Bruce's expertise in this field has been used on five paleoceanographic research expeditions in the South Pacific, and these were the topic for the evening. We began with an overview of conditions aboard the ships, their routes, and the various tools and techniques used to collect the samples and data (Eg. sonar mapping, seismic surveys, piston cores, gravity cores, rock dredging, etc).
In 1984 Bruce took part in a marine geological and geophysical survey of the northern Tonga Ridge and adjacent Lau Basin. Funded by the Geological Survey of Japan and using their research ship Natsushima, it was the second of three expeditions studying the Indian-Pacific Plate Boundary Arc. They collected baseline information on the structure of the northern Tonga Arc, and interpreted it in terms of the then new Plate Tectonic Theory.
In 1998 he participated in Leg 181 of the US run Ocean Drilling Programme which drilled six sites off south-eastern New Zealand. He was one of six micropaleontologists who spent 51 days analysing deep (500-700m below the sea floor) sediment cores aboard the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution. This exploration of the earth's structure and history beneath the sea floor helped to determine the history of the world's oceans and the world's climate over the last 30 million years. This will enable scientists to predict future climate changes, and also provides an unprecedented record of volcanism in New Zealand.
The French research vessel Marion Dufresne was his home for 2 weeks in 2006 as it travelled from Hobart, up the west coast, into Wellington, then up the east coast to Auckland. High-resolution images of the seafloor were obtained from multi-beam sonar mapping, and Bruce provided identification of tephras and foraminiferas from 31 soft sediment cores of up to 30m each. These records are key to understanding the complex climate interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, and land, going back many thousands of years.
During Dec/2010 and Jan/2011 Bruce worked aboard the German research vessel Sonne which departed from Valparaiso, Chile for 17 days of paleoceanographic studies in the South East Pacific. Sediment cores from great depths were collected to reconstruct changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns in the South Pacific over millions of years. This will help scientists to understand the variety and interaction of climate processes, their causes and impacts.
His latest "cruise" was aboard the NIWA research vessel Tangaroa in 2011. The scientists travelled from Wellington south to the Solander Trough with a variety of oceanographic and paleoceanographic goals. These included studies of foraminifera to better understand and predict the impacts of sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and the variability of oceanic climate in the New Zealand region. The programme also included research on the frequency and magnitude of undersea avalanches around New Zealand over the last 7000 years, in order to better model future risk.
Annual General Meeting – Tuesday 11th of December
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open 7pm).
We will meet in the large room for our last meeting of the year.
Annual reports will be presented, club issues will be discussed, and officers for the coming year will be elected.
This is your chance to have a say in the running and future direction of the club, so we encourage all members to attend. If you would like to put anything on the agenda then please contact our club Secretary or President.
We encourage members to support their club - if you have the time and the skills for any committee positions then please consider volunteering.
Heather will then talk about her recent shell collecting trip to the East Diamond Islet in the Coral Sea.
Attendees please bring in for display any Coral Sea shells that you may have in your collection.
We will finish the evening with our traditional Christmas supper (attendees please bring a plate).
All are invited to come and enjoy the convivial atmosphere, and we especially welcome members who have rarely or never attended our meetings.
New Zealand Shell Show 2013
We encourage all members to participate in our event of the coming year!
The Shell Show Schedule is available here, or contact Peter Poortman (email@example.com or 09 817 1397) for more information.
Unfortunately we do not yet have enough articles to publish a Poirieria this year.
We welcome contributions to our club magazine "Poirieria".
Anything related to shells or collecting would be greatly appreciated - Eg. shelling trips/finds, personal observations/tips, scientific research, historic anecdotes, a notable washup, etc.
Please email articles to Peter Poortman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.
Luen, our librarian, has updated the library list and this is available here. If you would like to be sent a paper copy then please contact Peter Poortman on email@example.com or (09) 817 1397.
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.
Items of Interest
. Heather Smith has published an article about her puzzling Coopers Beach rocks in the latest Auckland GeoClub Magazine (Geocene).
. As part of a wider study of the genus Cominella, Hamish Spencer requires some ethanol preserved live taken specimens of the Norfolk Island endemic species Cominella norfolkensis. If you are going to Norfolk Island and would be willing to collect these whelks, please contact Hamish at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will send you the details, including collection materials and the necessary documentation.
. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to email@example.com, or post to Peter Poortman, 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.
Your club needs you!
Volunteers are required for some of the clubs more active positions - in particular the roles of President, Newsletter Editor, & Porieria Editor.
If you have the time and the skills for any of these positions then we would like to hear from you.
Please contact Peter Poortman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (09) 817 1397.
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