Glaciations: Late Pleistocene of the SW Pacific Region

Colhoun, E. and Shulmeister, James P. (2007) Glaciations: Late Pleistocene of the SW Pacific Region in Scott A. Elias (eds.) Encyclopedia of Quaternary science. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier

Author Colhoun, E.
Shulmeister, James P.
Title of entry Glaciations: Late Pleistocene of the SW Pacific Region
Parent publication Encyclopedia of Quaternary science
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Publication date 2007
Editor Scott A. Elias
ISBN 044451919X
Start page 1066
End page 1076
Total pages 11
Language eng
Subjects 040104 Climate Change Processes
040602 Glaciology
040605 Palaeoclimatology
040606 Quaternary Environments
Abstract/Summary Australia and New Zealand on either side of the Tasman Sea form the Southwest Pacific region. The region lies in the latitudes of prevailing westerly winds. These moisture-bearing winds are uplifted as they cross highland regions giving abundant rain and snow as the low-pressure systems pass eastwards. During the Quaternary Epoch of the last 2.6 million years, ice accumulated at various times in the mountainous areas. Four areas, each with distinctive characteristics of glaciation, can be identified. The most northerly was the Snowy Mountains of southeast Australia, where at 36° 45’S cirque and short valley glaciers were formed only late in the Quaternary. Further south between 41° 30’S and 43° 30’S, ice formed extensively over the central and western parts of Tasmania as cirque, valley glaciers, icecaps, and small ice sheets at various times during the past million years. Several large volcanoes dominate the highest peaks at 39°S in North Island New Zealand that both today and during the Quaternary sustained cirque, valley, and small icecap glaciers. On South Island, an ice sheet was developed numerous times on the Southern Alps from 42°S in Nelson to 47°S in Southland. Outlet and piedmont glaciers terminated on the plains east and west of the mountains, and in Fjordland the ice sheet extended offshore. This article summarizes current knowledge on the glaciations of the regions
Keyword Glaciation
New Zealand

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Created: Fri, 18 Dec 2009, 12:56:36 EST by Michael Affleck on behalf of Faculty of Science