Quaternary Climate Essay

1846 Words 8 Pages
Background
The eastern side of the North Island relies on rainfall from cold fronts, which causes irregular patterns including moisture deficiencies and extreme conditions of temperature (Garnier, 1958). Garnier (1958) has found that the mountain ranges have formed a climatic barrier separating the west and east and resulting in the different climates and geomorphology: the Tararua range; the Ruahine; the Kaimanawa; and the Ruakamara Mountains (Garnier, 1958).
The eastern north island, New Zealand, is the case study for this essay; it is going to discuss two mechanisms that influenced the geomorphology of the Eastern side of the North Island; plate tectonics and Quaternary climate changes. The dominant features that will be discussed are; hikurangi
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This area of tectonic focus is marked from the Hikurangi trench to the back of the Taupo volcanic zone, and will be discussed in detail in this study.
Quaternary Climate Change
The quaternary period is the most recent of three periods during the Cenozic era in the geologic time scale. Its time span goes back 2.6 million years ago and due to the Holocene period can accordingly be called the Age of Man (Quaternary Period, 2014). During the quaternary period fluctuations of the climate caused glaciers to advance from the poles and retreat with each cycle, carving and moulding the land (National Geographic, 2014). Over the past 800,000 years the planet has formed cyclical patterns, with ice ages lasting around 100,000 years followed by warm periods lasting 10,000-15,000 years. The last ice age occurred 10,000 years ago and as the ice retreated, sea levels rose rapidly and the continents achieved their present day positions (National Geographic, 2014). As the ice sheet retreated it exposed the land to large basins and rivers, forming lakes we see
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The difference comes from the response the terrace has to the climate, bedrock, tectonics or human activity (Litchfield et. al., 2005). In most New Zealand based studies the focus is on climate, base level (sea) and tectonic setting. Like the study area, non-glacial basins have been formed during the last glacial period in a response to increased sediment supply, as discussed above in LGM. The sediment deposits in fluvial terraces can be dated to find out about tectonics and sea level change. In the Hawkes bay, most river

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