I am indebted to Rick Sibson, expert on pseudotachylite and fault mechanics, who inspired me to collect a piece or two of pseudotachylite for my very own. I first met Rick when he was teaching at University of California at Santa Barbara. He showed me the first examples I had ever seen of pseudotachylite, and I immediately got a bad case of ‘pseudotachylite envy.’ Finally I took care of this envy in 2010, traveling for the first time in New Zealand. In advance of the trip, Rick told me about several (largely) dry river beds where I might find a pebble or cobble of pseudotachylite. I was lucky enough to find 2 pieces among the thousands and thousands of cobbles in Hare Mare River in Westland. This was a rewarding experience!! I found only 2, not 3, while scrambling for an hour over the gravels.
Age & Formation
Pseudotachylite (fossil earthquake) from Alpine fault zone, New Zealand. The black glassy material was generated during the last 10 Ma.