Quaternary Climate Change Essay

Quaternary climatic changes and tectonic processes have a strong influence on the evolution and preservation of the geomorphology of the eastern North Island of New Zealand. This essay will discuss the broad context of Quaternary environmental change and tectonics in the eastern North Island of New Zealand and then will examine how both these concepts influence the geomorphology, whether affecting separate aspects of the landscape or combining and working together. Examples of contemporary processes will be discussed; these include fluvial terraces, the axial ranges, Lake Tutira, and the tectonic setting of Hawke’s Bay.

Quaternary Climate Change
Quaternary climate change is one factor that has played a strong influence in the
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The area where the lake is situated is characteristic of extensive land sliding, because of the pastoral hill country (Hawke & McConchie, 2009). The Lake Tutira catchment has extreme and persistent susceptibility to land sliding (Hawke & McConchie, 2009). This is a result of the rapid tectonic uplift rates and soft rock characteristics of the East Coast deformed belt in which the catchment occurs (Hawke & McConchie, 2009). Active stream incision has caused over-steepening of the valley side slopes to between 10 degrees and 55 degrees, and dramatic local relief exceeding 250 m (Hawke & McConchie, 2009). Page et al (2009) discusses that a mid to late Holocene record of storm events is preserved within the sediments within the lake. The records indicate that rainfall and temperature varied considerably throughout the Holocene, from maximum warmth and wetness around 11-7.5 ka BP, which is warmer then present (Page, et al., 2010). Page et al (2009) also discusses that the record of storm variability derived from Lake Tutira provides evidence for periods of rapid climate change during the Holocene, with storm sediment deposits providing a clue into the conditions at the time of their formation, and contain information about controls on erosion and sediment transfer at the time of their

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