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Climate of the Last Glaciation in New Zealand, Based on Aerosolic Quartz Influx in an Andesitic Terrain

  • Brent V. Alloway (a1), Robert B. Stewart (a1), Vincent E. Neall (a1) and Colin G. Vucetich (a1)


On western North Island, New Zealand, a record of climatic change during the last glaciation is preserved in a terrestrial coverbed sequence of dominantly andesitic provenance. Here, a succession of five loess-like Andisol units postdates the global high sea-level stand of oxygen isotope substage 5e (<125,000 yr). Tephra erupted from western and central North Island allow precise chronological correlation of the loess-like units. Aerosolic quartz additions determined by quantitative X-ray diffraction (XRD) record two major peaks that correlate with oxygen isotope stages 2 and 4. The most likely source of quartz-rich dust at these times is the surrounding continental shelf, then exposed by low sea level; however, quartz of Australian provenance may also be represented. This study provides the first confirmation from the terrestrial New Zealand record that rates of atmospherically transported particles increase during glacial stages.



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Quaternary Research
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  • EISSN: 1096-0287
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