Evidence for ecologically significant changes in climate during the post-glacial period in New Zealand: Soil evidence relating to post-glacial climate on the Canterbury Plains
- Soil Bureau, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Christchurch
- Is now in private employment
The Canterbury Plains are composed of greywacke alluvial fans, of Last Glaciation and Post-glacial age, deposited by the rivers that drain the Southern Alps. Changes of climate that affected the mountain catchments are reflected in river behaviour on the plains (sedimentation, downcutting). The sedimentation patterns are one line of evidence for climatic history used here.
Much of the plains now has a subhumid climate in summer considered, at best, to be marginal for the requirement of native forest species (although adequate for scrub or low forest species) so from the evidence of the previous widespread occurrence of podocarp forest some inferences about climate are drawn.