The Strange, Tessellated Pavements of Tasmania

Sunday June 18, 2017 Written by Ronan

Down on Tasmania's South-East coast, you can find a striking geomorphic rock formation known as the Tessellated Pavement. It’s a large flatbed of mosaic tiles, each lightly pooled with water which, at first glance, you might assume have been carved by local craftsman. The defined polygons of the rocks are in fact the fracture joins between the rock. (Of course.)

It’s located on the coastline of Pirate’s Bay (not the nefarious file-sharing website) in Eaglehawk Nest, just near the famous tourist site of the infamous Port Arthur penal colony. The geological wonder is formed by years of erosion acting in two ways. The first is to make loaf-like formations. This is caused by sand washing in with waves and wearing down the edges of the join, creating convex tiles. The second factor develops in areas where the waves roll in, depositing salt water which slowly erodes the centre area, leaving the joints between the rocks relatively intact, resulting in neat concave tiles, known as a pan-formation.

For more tessellated rock action, you might want to head over to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, which we previously covered here.