When were the Southern Alps formed?
about 15 million years ago
These mountains are mainly composed of hard sandstone and mudstone, collectively known as "greywacke", of Mesozoic age, but the southern and western parts of the Southern Alps are formed of shale. The uplift of these areas began about 15 million years ago and has accelerated in the last few million years.
How old are New Zealand's mountains?
New Zealand's oldest rocks are over 500 million years old and were once part of Gondwanaland. This massive supercontinent began to split about 160 million years ago, and New Zealand separated from it about 85 million years ago. New Zealand sits on two tectonic plates – the Pacific and the Australian.
How did New Zealand's Southern Alps originate?
The European Alps (Alps) and the Southern Alps of New Zealand (Southern Alps) are both high mountain ranges formed by the collision of tectonic plates. High rates of compressional strain along the Alpine Fault in New Zealand result in very high elevations.
What is the oldest mountain in NZ?
Southern Alps, mountain range on the South Island, New Zealand. It is the highest range in Australasia. The Alps form the highest part of the mountains that stretch the length of the island, stretching from Haast Pass, at the head of Lake Wanaka, northeast to Arthur's Pass.
What did New Zealand look like millions of years ago?
About 540 million years ago, New Zealand was formed on the eastern edge of the supercontinent Gondwana. Over millions of years, rivers carried sediments to the sea, and offshore volcanoes deposited ash on the sea floor. Several times the rocks were raised to form mountains on the Gondwana coast.
What animals live in the Southern Alps?
Alpine habitats are home to a variety of animals including birds (skunk, kea, pips, takahe, great spotted kiwi), lizards (skinks and geckos) and many different invertebrates (weta, grasshoppers, slugs, moths and butterflies, spiders, cicadas and beetles).
Where are the Southern Alps?
New Zealand's South Island
The Southern Alps are a range of mountains that run along the South Island of New Zealand. The mountain range has been compared to the Alps in Europe.
How did the Southern Alps of New Zealand originate?
The Southern Alps were created during a time of enormous uplift which has been called the Kaikoura Orogeny. The creation of the Alps was an internal process caused by the collision of the tectonic plates of Australia and the Pacific Ocean. 25 to 15 million years ago, most of New Zealand was covered by sea.
How high are the Alps in New Zealand?
The Alps form the highest part of the mountains that stretch the length of the island, stretching from Haast Pass, at the head of Lake Wanaka, northeast to Arthur's Pass. They range in elevation from 3,000 feet (900 meters) to 16 peaks over 10,000 feet (3,050 meters), culminating in Mount Cook (12,316 feet [3,754 meters]).
43°30′S 170°30′E / 43.500°S 170.500°E / -43.500; 170.500Coordinates: 43°30′S 170°30′E / 43.500°S 170.500°E / -43.500; 170,500. Southern Alps in winter. The Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana is a mountain range that runs along much of the length of New Zealand's South Island, reaching its greatest heights near the western side of the range.
How much have the Southern Alps been uplifted?
The rate of uplift has accelerated in the last 5 million years, about 20 km of uplift has taken place along the Alpine fault. If it weren't for the weather, the Southern Alps would be up to 6 times the height they are today. (Look downstairs)
An educational video on how ze Alps formed