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On the geology of the New Zealand Alps


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Hutton, Frederick Wollaston 1886 , 'On the geology of the New Zealand Alps' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania , pp. 1-4 .

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The New Zealand Alps form a narrow range of
mountains dividing the plains of Canterbury from those of
Westland, and attain in Mount Cook an elevation of 12,349
feet. The principal snow fields and
glaciers occur in the central portion between the sources
of the River Rakaia and those of the Waitaki; but small
glaciers are found as far north as the head of the Waimakariri,
near the West Coast Road, and as far south as Lake
Wakatipu and Milford Sound. The largest glacier is the
Tasman. Nearly the whole of the Alps are composed of much
disturbed sedimentary rocks, principally sandstones, mud
stones, and greywackes. The main anticlinal, or true tectonic
axis, runs in a south-westerly direction from Tasman's Bay
to Otago, where it curves round to the south-east, and
reaches the sea near Dunedin.
Four different rock systems take part in building up
these mountains. The first is the MANAPOURI SYSTEM.
The next rock system is of cretaceous, probably upper
cretaceous, age, and is known as the WAIPARA SYSTEM.
Two notable differences occur between the mountain regions of New Zealand and Switzerland. The first is that mountains, with sharp serrated
summits, which are the exception in Switzerland, are the
rule in New Zealand. The second is that waterfalls are
rare in New Zealand in comparison with Switzerland,
although the mountains of New Zealand are quite as rough
and as rugged as the Alps of Europe. The New
Zealand Alps are far older than those of Switzerland.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hutton, Frederick Wollaston
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.

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