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Bisexual Dating. Native American Dating. Interracial Dating. Divorced Dating. Athletic Dating. About Dating. Along almost the entire length of the Island runs the massive chain known as the Southern Alps, which attains its greatest height in Mount Cook 12, ft , while no fewer than 16 peaks exceed 10, ft. To the north run the St. Arnaud and Richmond Ranges, while to the north-cast are the Spenser Mountains and the Kaikoura and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, the two latter ranges running parallel to the east coast. The south portion of the Southern Alps breaks up into a miscellany of ranges dominating the mountainous Fiord and north-western Southland regions.
As might be expected, the higher mountains of the South Island have exerted a greater influence on the economic development of the country than those of the North Island. For many years the Southern Alps were an effective barrier to communication by land between the east and west coasts, while their climatic effects on the Canterbury plains and Otago plateaus determined the types of cultivation undertaken. Moreover, the existence of much elevated open country led to the development of pastoral holdings on a large scale.
While the mountains in the North Island are not as high nor as extensive as those of the South Island, in the early days they effectively isolated various portions of the coastal plains and valleys. Their effect on climatic conditions, however, is considerably less, the rainfall being more evenly distributed. Owing to this more even distribution of the rainfall, and to the existence of considerable areas of lower relief, the foothills of the mountain systems were heavily wooded, and so proved a hindrance to agrarian development.
There are at least named peaks of 7, ft or more in altitude.
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Below is a list of the peaks restricted to the four largest volcanic cones in the North Island and to mountains of a minimum height of 9, ft in the South Island. Glaciers— In keeping with the dimensions of the mountain system, New Zealand possesses, in the South Island, a glacial system of some magnitude. Of the glaciers the largest is the Tasman, which, with others of comparable size, rises in the more elevated area surrounding Mount Cook.
On the western slope of the range, owing to the greater snow precipitation, the glaciers are more numerous and descend to lower levels, while the steeper slope gives them a more rapid rate of flow. As will be realised, these glaciers are an important tourist attraction, and as such have definite economic significance.
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Moreover, those glaciers on the eastern slopes which feed rivers utilised for irrigation and hydro-electric purposes are valuable in that they help to ensure a steady volume of water throughout the year. Rivers— Of the numerous New Zealand rivers few are of sufficient length or volume to be navigable. Moreover, owing to the high relief of the country, they are mostly swift-flowing, while, as mentioned previously, nearly all are obstructed at their mouths by bars.
For the purpose of internal communication, therefore, they are of little economic utility, and only in two or three isolated instances have they been thus consistently used. With improved roading conditions, however, their traffic has become negligible even in these cases. As sources of hydro-electric power New Zealand rivers are of considerable importance, since their rapid rate of flow and dependable volume of ice-free water make them eminently suitable for this purpose.
The characteristics just mentioned are also important for purposes of irrigation, but, owing to the country's reliable rainfall, there are few areas other than in Canterbury and Otago where the rivers are so utilised. Following is a list of the more important rivers. For purposes of uniformity, the length of a river is taken to be the distance from the mouth to the farthest point in the system, whether this should happen to bear the same name or that of an affluent, and is inclusive of the estimated course of a river flowing into and emerging from any lake in the system.
Cook Strait is defined as follows: northern limit is a line between northern points of Stephens Island and Kapiti Island: southern limit is a line between Cape Palliser and Cape Campbell. The discovery in that the beds of numerous rivers in the South Island contained extensive deposits of alluvial gold was of considerable importance in the economic development of the country.
Not only did it lead to an increase in population and in wealth, but, through the following of the numerous streams to their sources, it also led to the rapid exploration of large tracts of remote country. The exploitation of these deposits has been carried on with varying degrees of success up to the present time by both manual and mechanical means, but the amount of gold now extracted is comparatively small.
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A further factor in connection with the rivers is that, owing to the very successful acclimatisation of freshwater fish, notably trout, many of them now provide exceptionally fine fishing. Lakes— In considering New Zealand's numerous lakes a distinction can be made, especially from the scenic viewpoint, between the lakes of the two Islands. Surrounded by extremely rugged country the larger lakes of the South Island are distinguished by the grandeur of their alpine settings, while those of the North Island, situated on a volcanic plateau, are of interest by reason of the neighbouring thermal activity.
Owing to the excellence of their fishing, the North Island lakes possess an added tourist attraction. In both Islands the larger lakes are situated at high altitudes, and their consequent remoteness renders them unsuitable as a means of communication. In their functions as reservoirs the lakes of both Islands are of vital importance for the maintenance of the streams draining them and as a means of flood prevention.
More especially is this the case where hydro-electric schemes are involved, Lakes Waikaremoana and Taupo in the North Island, and Lakes Coleridge, Pukaki, Tekapo, Wanaka, Hawea, and Wakatipu in the South Island, being of particular significance in this respect. A series of narrow man-made lakes have been produced in connection with hydro-electric development along some of the rivers.
Early in Lake Benmore, New Zealand's largest artificial lake, was created. This lies on the Waitaki River in North Otago and is the first in a series of lakes to be created along this river in connection with the production of hydro electricity. Some particulars of the more important lakes are given in the following table. GEOLOGY— The islands of New Zealand are part of the unstable circum-Pacific Mobile Belt; this is a region where volcanoes are active and where the earth's crust has long been buckling and breaking at a geologically rapid rate.
The interplay, in the past, of earth movements and erosion has made the sedimentary rocks that cover almost three-quarters of New Zealand. Land areas that the earth movements have raised have been attacked by erosion, and the sand, mud, shingle, and other debris thus formed has been carried away to the sea, where it has accumulated in great thicknesses to form rocks such as sandstone, mudstone, greywacke, and conglomerate; the shells and other skeletons of sea creatures have accumulated to form thick layers of limestone.
Many of the sedimentary rocks are in distinct layers called strata; earth movements have later raised them above the sea to form land, and the strata are in many places tilted and folded by pressure. Seas have advanced and retreated over New Zealand many times, and these sedimentary rocks represent almost every geological period since the Cambrian see Time Scale ; their age is revealed by the shells, foraminifera, and other fossils that they contain. As well as sedimentary rocks, and volcanic rocks of various ages, New Zealand incorporates in its complex structure schist, gneiss, marble and other metamorphic rocks , and granite, diorite, gabbro, serpentine, and other intrusive igneous rocks.
The metamorphic rocks developed when huge, elongated sea basins geosynclines were formed, in which tens of thousands of feet thickness of sediments accumulated; when these geosynclines were slowly compressed during major mountain-building episodes the deeper sediments were subjected to great pressure and shearing stress, which caused new minerals and structures to develop, changing the sediments into metamorphic rocks. The granites and other intrusive rocks are coarsely crystalline, and are usually considered to have been intruded into the outer crust in molten state during mountain building; some, however, may be the products of intense metamorphism of sediments.
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Geological History— Evidence of the earliest-known events in New Zealand's history is given by ancient rocks in Nelson, Westland, and Fiordland that were formed in the early Paleozoic era, perhaps as long as million years ago some in Westland may be older. They include thick, geosynclinal sedimentary rocks; this suggests that a large land mass existed at that time to yield the great volume of sediments, but little has been deduced about its shape or position.
The history of the later part of the Paleozoic era, and the Mesozoic era, is rather better understood; for a vast span of time from the Carboniferous period—probably until the early Cretaceous period—an extensive geosyncline occupied the New Zealand region. At first, during much of late Paleozoic time, huge quantities of submarine lava and volcanic tuff were included in the materials that accumulated in the geosyncline, but in the later Permian and Mesozoic times the sediments were mainly sand and mud, derived probably from some land west of present New Zealand; they were compacted into hard greywacke a type of sandstone and argillite hard, dark mudstone.
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In the early Cretaceous period one of the main mountain-building episodes in New Zealand's history took place: although geosynclinal sedimentation continued through the Cretaceous period in eastern New Zealand, the geosyncline elsewhere was compressed, and the sediments were intensely crumpled and broken and raised above the sea, probably forming a large, mountainous landmass.
Some of the geosynclinal deposits, now exposed over much of Otago, alpine Westland, and parts of Marlborough Sounds, were metamorphosed into schist and gneiss by the tremendous deforming pressures to which the geosyncline was subjected. The time that has elapsed since the intense folding of the strata in the New Zealand Geosyncline in the mid-Cretaceous period may be considered as the later geological history of this country; it embraces roughly million years. During the early part of this late history, erosion slowly wore down the mountains that had risen, producing a land of low relief.
Over these worn-down stumps of the Mesozoic mountains the sea gradually advanced, beginning its transgression earlier in some areas than in others: in the early Cretaceous period it began to submerge land in the region of present North Auckland and the eastern margins of the North and South Islands, and thick deposits of mudstone and sandstone accumulated in some parts of these areas. At the close of the Mesozoic era, and in the very early Tertiary, land became so reduced in size and relief that little sediment was formed, and only comparatively thin deposits of fine bentonitic and sulphurous muds, and fine, white, foraminiferal limestone accumulated.
In some areas New Zealand's main coal deposits accumulated, in swamps on the surface of the old land; these became buried by marine deposits as the sea continued its transgression in the Eocene period. By the Oligocene period, most of the land was submerged, and in shallow waters free of land sediments thick deposits of shell and foraminiferal limestone accumulated. Scattered, remnant patches of this Oligocene limestone furnish most of New Zealand's cement and agricultural lime. After the Oligocene submergence earth movements became more vigorous; many ridges rose from the sea as islands, and sank or were worn down again; sea basins formed and rapidly filled with sediments.
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Very late in the Cenozoic era—in the Pliocene and Pleistocene periods—one of the greatest episodes of mountain building in New Zealand's history took place. Earth movements became intense, and slowly pushed up the Southern Alps and other main mountain chains, and determined the general shape and size of the present islands of New Zealand. Much of the movement during this mountain building period the Kaikoura Orogeny took the form of displacement of blocks of the earth's crust along fractures called faults. The total movements of the earth blocks adjacent to major faults amounted to thousands of feet; it must have been achieved very slowly, probably by innumerable small movements, each of a few inches or feet.
The New Zealand landscape today in some regions shows well preserved tilted fault blocks bounded by fault-scarps—steep faces hundreds or even thousands of feet high. Fault movements continue to the present day, and have accompanied several major earthquakes of the past century. Many minor but revealing landscape features such as scarplets, fault ponds, and shutter ridges show where movement has been occurring in recent centuries.
Tuatara Vol. Erosion during this time has eaten into the major landscape forms that the earth movements have built, carving the detailed landscape pattern of peaks, ridges, valleys, and gorges, and has built up alluvial plains, shingle fans, and other constructional forms; at the coast, waves have driven back the headlands, and built beaches, spits, and bars. The Pleistocene period was the time of the Ice Age, and in the high mountains of the South Island glaciers carved deep valleys and carried huge loads of rock, dumping them as moraines.
The late Pleistocene glaciers carved the fiords of Fiordland and the basins occupied by most South Island lakes; there were small glaciers also on Ruapehu, where remnants survive, and on Mount Egmont and the Tararua Range. Volcanic activity of the past few million years has played an important part in making the rocks and shaping the landscape of parts of the central and northern North Island; Banks Peninsula, a twin volcanic dome in Canterbury, achieved much of its growth then, too. The largest volcanic outpourings of late geological times in New Zealand have been in the region between Tongariro National Park and the Bay of Plenty Coast: andesite lava, scoria, and ash were erupted in the Pleistocene period and later to build the huge volcanoes, Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe; more than 2, cubic miles of molten rhyolitic magma was erupted in the form of ignimbrite, pumice, and rhyolite lava, building up the Volcanic Plateau.
The Geological Survey, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, has built up this body of geological knowledge. Geological Maps— The geological maps show the present distribution of major rock groups in New Zealand, brought about by the events and processes that have been summarised in previous paragraphs.