Looking south west over the eroded anticline, Tora Coast. K.Amai / VUW
100 metres south of the Pukemuri Stream mouth, along the shore line, well bedded sandstone dips in opposing directions. Locally, beds to the east (partially submerged) are dipping eastward, into the water, while the beds to the west (along the beach) dipping west. When they were deposited, these rocks were all originally flat. These rocks are part of the Glenburn Formation, which is at least 62 metres thick in this area. Much of the formation was deposited in a deep submarine environment, but the rocks here (the upper layers of the formation) suggest a more shallow marine setting.
Looking in the central area between the two different orientated beds, you will be able to find a section of rock that is still horizontal. This is because you are standing on, and looking along, the axis of an anticline (up fold). The folding is a response to the pressure of plate collision along the Hikurangi subduction zone. This plate boundary (the interface between the colliding Pacific and Australian Plates) extends below the southern North Island at a shallow angle, from the sea floor 50 kms offshore of Tora. Below Tora, the boundary is approximately 20 kms deep.
Over time, the erosional force of the ocean has created a wave-cut platform, exposing the internal structure of the large anticline. You will see that the fold runs roughly north to south, parallel to the Hikurangi Subduction Zone/plate boundary.