Lake Tūtira, in northern Hawke’s Bay, was dammed by an ancient landslide. Herbert Guthrie-Smith farmed the area around the lake from 1882 until his death in 1940. His book Tutira: the story of a New Zealand sheep station gives a detailed account of changes around the lake, including the effects of land clearance, introduced plants and animals, and heavy storms.
The mud at the bottom of Lake Tūtira has been studied, and in 2003 a 26-metre deep hole was drilled. The mud sample provided a record of events over the last 7,000 years, including 20 layers of volcanic ash, and layers marking storms. In the upper part there was a good correlation with the events recorded by Guthrie-Smith.
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Photograph by Lloyd Homer
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