Origin and age of The Hillocks and implications for post‐glacial landscape development in the upper Lake Wakatipu catchment, New Zealand

Samuel T. McColl (Lead / Corresponding author), Simon J. Cook, Timothy Stahl, Timothy R. H. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Ambiguous landscape histories can arise from equivocal or incomplete geomorphological, sedimentological or geochronological evidence. In this study, we apply quantitative analyses to robustly assess the origin and age of a field of rounded mounds, known as ‘The Hillocks’. Using clast analysis, the sediment is shown to be consistent with a landslide origin but inconsistent with other glacial sediments in the region. Cosmogenic 10Be exposure age dating suggests The Hillocks formed ~8 ka. Ground‐penetrating radar reveals that the deposit rests upon deltaic foreset beds; combined with topographical data, we calculate a deposit volume of ~15–27 M m3, consistent with the estimated volume of the proposed source area. Overall, our data support a rock avalanche origin, indicating that by 8 ka the valley was ice‐free at The Hillocks’ location, and the level of Lake Wakatipu was lower than 340 m asl by this time. The Dart River delta shoreline was situated somewhere between The Hillocks and the present day shoreline at that time, and has prograded at a maximum average rate of 1 m a−1 since ~8 ka. These findings are significant given the lack of landforms by which to constrain glacial or post‐glacial landscape histories in this region of New Zealand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-696
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume34
Issue number8
Early online date29 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • kame
  • Lake Wakatipu
  • landform origin
  • paraglacial
  • rock avalanche

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