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Late-Glacial and Early Glacial Holocene Glacier Activity in the Southern Alps, New Zealand

Sean J. Fitzsimons


In the Southern Alps of New Zealand, glaciers advanced to their last glacial maximum limits between 22.3 and 18 ka BP, and there is evidence for at least four more advances between 18 and 8 ka BP. A widespread glacier advance, possibly with two maxima, occurred between 16 and 14 ka BP, during which glaciers reached positions close to those attained at the last glacial maximum. After 14 ka BP, there was a significant and sustained retreat of glaciers that marks the beginning of the Post-glacial interval in New Zealand, locally known as the Aranui Interglacial. During the Aranui there is evidence for a much smaller glacier advance around 11 ka BP that may have been coeval with the Younger Dryas stade, but opinions on this are still controversial. Two younger ice advances may have occurred close to 10.25 and 8.6 ka BP. Although regional patterns of Late-glacial advances are reasonably well established, the Post-glacial advances are known only from single sites and require closer investigation.


Fitzsimons, S. J. 1997. Late-Glacial and Early Holocene Glacier Activity in the Southern Alps, New Zealand. Quaternary International, 38, 69-76. [PDF 780kb]

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