Story: Geology – overview

Erosion at Poolburn (1st of 2)

Erosion at Poolburn

In earliest Tertiary time (65–50 million years ago) tectonic activity slowed down over much of New Zealand. Erosion and chemical weathering in a warm climate reduced the land to an almost flat surface – a peneplain – recently named the Waipounamu erosion surface.

The surface was later covered by younger sediments, but in many parts of Central Otago they have been stripped off by erosion. This photograph, taken near Poolburn, shows a small part of the exhumed peneplain surface.

Using this item

GNS Science
Reference: CN3635
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Geology – overview - New Zealand breaks away from Gondwana', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 July 2024)

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