Towards a climate event stratigraphy for New Zealand over the past 30,000 years

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Barrell, D.J.A.; Alloway, B.V.; Shulmeister, J.; Newnham, R.M. (eds) 2005 Towards a climate event stratigraphy for New Zealand over the past 30,000 years . Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 2005/07 12 p. + 1 poster

Abstract: A poster summarizing a representative selection of evidence for environmental conditions and climate change in New Zealand during the last 30,000 years has been prepared as a “first-step” contribution to the INTIMATE (INTegration of Ice-core, Marine and TerrEstrial records) initiative of the INQUA Paleoclimate Commission. This international initiative aims to establish a more detailed knowledge of the nature, timing and regional to global extent of climatic and environmental changes associated with the Last Termination. The poster depicts key New Zealand onshore and offshore records for the Last Glacial Maximum and the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition, from a variety of latitudes and elevations. Inset maps show New Zealand’s oceanographic setting, principal currents and water masses, extent of glaciers, and distribution of vegetation zones at approximately 22,000 calendar years ago and at modern times (incorporating the inferred vegetation distribution at c. 1250 AD, before deforestation associated with human settlement). A calendar-age timescale is based on a combination of volcanic ash (tephra) and radiometric dates. Paleoclimate records from ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland are presented for comparison with New Zealand records. High-resolution records are presented for sediment-filled volcanic craters in Auckland (total carbon, carbon isotopes and pollen), wetlands in northeast North Island, central North Island and western South Island (pollen), marine sediments off eastern North Island (oxygen isotopes), and stalagmites in caves in northwest South Island (carbon and oxygen isotopes). In addition, the poster includes a range of lower resolution or fragmentary records of climate events, based on glacial landforms and deposits (central Southern Alps, South Island), river terraces and deposits, loess deposits (eastern North and South Islands), and Aeolian quartz silt in non-quartzose, loess-like, andesitic tephric deposits of western North Island. The poster reflects work-in-progress and aims to assist comparison of the New Zealand paleoclimate records with those from the wider Australasian region and elsewhere. The immediate goal is the establishment of an Australasian-INTIMATE climate event stratigraphy by the New Zealand and Australian paleoclimate communities, for presentation at the 2007 INQUA Cairns Symposium. (auth)