Story: Coastal erosion

Arched rock, Mercury Bay

Arched rock, Mercury Bay

This hand-coloured engraving was made by Sydney Parkinson, the artist on board Captain James Cook’s Endeavour in 1769. It shows a fortified on top of an arched rock at Mercury Bay, on the Coromandel’s east coast. Arches form when waves pound headlands from both sides. Over time, the waves follow lines of weakness in the rock, and carve out caves on either side of the headland. When the caves meet, a natural arch is produced. This structure has since collapsed.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0037-24
Hand-coloured engraving by Sydney Parkinson

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Willem de Lange, 'Coastal erosion - Rocky coasts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/6331/arched-rock-mercury-bay (accessed 10 April 2020)

Story by Willem de Lange, published 12 Jun 2006