Story: Glaciers and glaciation

Glacial periods in New Zealand

Glacial periods in New Zealand

New Zealand’s climate has alternated between warm and cold periods over the last three million years. During warmer periods the climate was similar to that of today. During cold periods the mountains in the South Island were snow-covered, and glaciers were much more extensive.

A number of glacial and interglacial periods in the New Zealand region have been given local names. The table shows the changing pattern of glacial and interglacial periods over the last 500,000 years. They can be correlated with internationally recognised stages, based on changes in oxygen isotopes from cores in the deep sea.

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Source: GNS Science

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Glaciers and glaciation - The ice ages', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 June 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Apr 2021