GLACIATION OF MT ALLEN, STEWART ISLAND (RAKIURA): THE SOUTHERN MARGIN OF LGM GLACIATION IN NEW ZEALAND

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

The origin of two ridges on the eastern slopes of Mt Allen, southern Stewart Island, has remained equivocal, with differences of opinion over the exact process-mechanisms of formation. A variety of approaches was used to test a number of possible hypotheses about the origin of the ridges. These include topographic and spatial positioning, geomorphology, sedimentology and palaeoclimatological extrapolations to reconstruct two small former cirque glaciers with equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) of c. 600 m. It would appear the two ridges reflect a glacial origin, the glaciers interpreted as forming during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in New Zealand. Whilst glaciation during this time (18–19 ka) was extensive in the Southern Alps, the restricted nature of glaciation on Mt Allen suggests the low altitude restricted glaciation to niche sites on the lee side of upland areas.

Keywords: New Zealand; Stewart Island; glaciation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2009.00355.x

Affiliations: School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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