Loess (windblown dust) is exposed in a cutting on Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch. Such deposits are common in the South Island, where loess forms a layer beneath much of the soil. Most areas of loess were formed during glacial periods when there was little vegetation, and much of the continental shelf was exposed. During the glacial periods most of the hills were covered by loess, but much of it has been washed down to lower altitudes by heavy rain.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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