Then it was time to travel to the South Island and our field study area the Southern Alps. At Methven we met up with George Denton and his mapping team and while they began the arduous task of field checking their maps and interpretations we headed into the mountains via four-wheel-drive vehicle to re-core one or our paleo-sites, Quagmire Tarn. We were joined on this trip by collaborating researchers Dr. Rewi Newnham and University of Waikato graduate students Tom Whittaker (ex-U. Maine) and Jeremy Cole-Baker who took on the crucial role of field assistants. Quagmire Tarn is of specific interest to this project as it is situated just beyond a late-glacial-age moraine and contains sediment encompassing the entire last glacial termination. We will be obtaining radiocarbon dates on the sediment to confirm the timing of late glacial events and gain minimal ages for ice recession in the area as well as conducting chironomid and pollen analysis to quantify temperature changes.
Conveniently, the lake is filling in with peat, providing a stable platform from which to core. We obtained four cores going through the peat into the lake sediment below. Accommodation for the night was provided by the Downs Hut, which has been used by farmers mustering the sheep for shearing for more than one hundred years. After stopping of to thank the land owners (Phillip and Ann Todhunter) for access to the site and use of the hut we continued back to Methven.