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Geology of the Provinces of Canterbury and Westland, New Zealand : a report comprising the results of official explorations

Geological Survey of the Christchurch-Lyttelton Railway Tunnel

Geological Survey of the Christchurch-Lyttelton Railway Tunnel.

The tunnel works in the Caldera wall having been pushed on with great activity by the contractors, Messrs. Holmes and Co., I began shortly after my return, to make a geological survey of the adits on both sides, and to note my observations on a section, at the scale of twenty feet to one inch. I did this with a hope that some important contributions would accrue therefrom to geology, this being the first case where a crater wall of an extinct volcano had been pierced in its whole length by a tunnel. As this work was continued day and night during the week by three shifts of eight hours each, I found it impossible to work during the usual time, and had to make use of the hours beginning at midnight on Saturday, and ending at the same time Sunday night, when the work was again begun by the miners. The Railway Engineer, Mr. Edw. Dobson, C.E., as well as the contractors, Messrs. Holmes and Co., gave me all the assistance in their power, during the number of years the work was progressing.

Some time had now also to be devoted to the classification and arrangement of the public collections, which had so much increased, that they already consisted of about 6000 specimens, I therefore made an arrangement with the Provincial Government to hand over the two rooms which I occupied in the north-eastern portion of the Government Buildings, in order that they might be used as a Public Museum. However, when the necessary preparations were nearly completed, it was found that the rooms to be given to me instead, could not be page 63spared, and the opening of the Museum had to be postponed for a short time longer. On August 2nd, I presented to the Secretary for Public Works, the Hon. John Hall, a progress report* on the geological survey of the Province of Canterbury, which was published in the same year, by order of the Provincial Council.

Besides the geological information, notes on collections, forming the nucleus of the Canterbury Museum, lists of flowering plants, and tables of altitudes were given. At the same time I sent a paper to the Geological Society of London, in which I treated of the remarkable glaciation of the Southern Island of New Zealand during pleistocene times, and which was read on December 7th, 1864, and was printed with an appendix "On the Pleistocene epoch of New Zealand" in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society for May, 1865.

* Report on the Geological Survey of the Province of Canterbury, by Julius Haast, PhD., F.G.S. Provincial Geologist. Session XXII, 1864.

On the Lake-Basins and Glaciers of New Zealand, by Dr. Julius Haast, F.L.S., F.G.S. with an introduction by Sir Rod. J. Murchison, K.C.B., F.K.S., F.G.S.