Glacial history and climate reconstruction from the
South Island, New Zealand


This project is supported by a grant from NOAA, Office of Global Programs
George Denton, Marcus Vandergoes,
Ann Dieffenbacher-Krall
January 15, 2004 to February 28, 2005
Week 2

Mount Cook with Lake Pukaki

Klaus and Godley glaciers

Geike snowfield

Franz Josef glacier ice

From here the group split up for a few days with Marcus, Tom, and Jeremy heading to the West Coast to begin more coring while Ann joined up with George Denton to field check and observe the glacially sculpted landscapes and currently active alpine glaciers. Joined by Robert Kunzig, who is working on a book about climate change, Ann and George toured glacial features of the Southern Alps. On the West Coast, Marcus and the team were busy up to their knees in water at Galway Tarn, coring of the floating edge of a forest lake. The sediments at this site extend beyond the LGM and have provided a continuous record of vegetation and climate change for approximately the past 40 ka. This site also contains one of the best preserved layers we have found of a volcanic ash (Kawakawa Tephra) associated with an eruption of a North Island volcanoes that occurred during the LGM at around 22.5 14C ka before present. The cores taken this year will be used for chironomid research and to date the changes in pollen and sediment stratigraphy associated with LGM ice advance. Ann rejoined Marcus’ team to collect some more modern chironomid samples and explore the glacial environments of South Westland. We concentrated on filling in some of the gaps in our data set of the last 2 years by sampling sites between 1000-1200m. Yet again it did involve flying into most of these sites as they are often remote or difficult to get to with the sampling equipment. Many of these sites are located in within the moraine ridges or on mountain range crests and provides spectacular environments in which to work.

Franz Josef glacier   West Coast rainforest    Tom, Jeremy coring Galway Tarn