Story: Geology – overview

Satellite image of the central South Island

Satellite image of the central South Island

This satellite image shows the snow-covered Southern Alps in the central part of the South Island, cut off by the Alpine Fault on the western (left) side. Rivers flowing away from the mountains carry a big load of gravel and sand. On the eastern (right) side of the mountains the major rivers have formed several large alluvial fans that have combined to form the Canterbury Plains – one of the largest areas of agricultural land in New Zealand.

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NASA - JSC Digital Image Collection
Reference: SL4-137-3700

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Geology – overview - Quaternary coasts and rivers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/map/8393/satellite-image-of-the-central-south-island (accessed 20 June 2019)

Story by Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006