2024 Central Coast Excursion

Dr Stephen Fityus

The Sydney Basin hosts NSW’s largest population centres, and through its metropolitan development and resource exploitation, many aspects of its engineering geology have become well known. The Coal Measures sequences of the Permian have been well studied and characterised in the course of mining and development of mined areas, whilst the upper Triassic sequence has been extensively characterised during the development of the greater Sydney region. The lower Triassic sequence, from the top of the Coal Measures to the base of the Hawkesbury Sandstone, is generally lumped together under the collective term “Narrabeen Group”, and it receives far less attention, as it expresses poorly at the surface and hosts mainly suburban or rural development.

This excursion will explore the lower Triassic sequence of the Sydney Basin, from the Munmorah Conglomerate to the top of the Narrabeen Group, which dominates the geological conditions from the northern Hawkesbury to southern Lake Macquarie, as well as extensive areas of the Upper Hunter, Wollemi, Blue Mountains and south of Sydney. It will focus on the Central Coast region, where the Narrabeen Group sandstones are less dominant, and formations of finer sediments dominate. It will begin with an inspection of the Munmorah ortho-conglomerate rock platform at Frazer Beach, then move on to Terrigal to examine the Terrigal Formation and its behaviour in the local sea cliffs. From there it will progress to Putty Beach to inspect some classic examples of tessellated pavements, and some of the most spectacular weathering expressions in the Sydney Basin. It will conclude with a brief inspection of the Mangrove Mountain water storage dam.

The excursion has been organised, in part, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the International Association of Engineering Geologists

The excursion includes morning tea and lunch will be provided.

About the host

Dr Stephen Fityus

Dr Stephen Fityus has a BE(civil engineering), a BSc(geology) and a PhD from the University of Newcastle, where he was Professor in the School of Engineering for over 20 years. He currently holds a position in the Newcastle office of Douglas Partners. His wider research interests include the behaviour of residual and expansive clay soils, soils in the unsaturated state, rockfall phenomena and risk mitigation, and slope stability in dipping sedimentary strata and characterisation of waste rock dumps.


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$200.00 inc. GST
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