Story: Glaciers and glaciation

Waiho moraine loop, Franz Josef

Waiho moraine loop, Franz Josef

The Waiho Loop (centre) is a tree-covered semicircle of moraine or rocky debris about 80 metres high. It is known as a terminal moraine – a ridge that forms at the front of a glacier and remains after the glacier retreats. The ‘loop’ indicates the extent of the Franz Josef Glacier, about 12,000 years ago. Unlike the surrounding river flats, it was too rugged to be cleared for farming and remains covered in native forest. The braided Waiho River is at right.

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GNS Science
Reference: CN6517/17
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Glaciers and glaciation - Retreating ice and the glacier legacy', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 February 2024)

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