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Evolution of the Taieri River catchment, East Otago, New Zealand


Craw, D and Craw, L and Burridge, CP and Wallis, GP and Waters, JM, Evolution of the Taieri River catchment, East Otago, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 59, (2) pp. 257-273. ISSN 0028-8306 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Royal Society of New Zealand

DOI: doi:10.1080/00288306.2015.1126621


This paper synthesises geological and biological data to develop an evolutionary history for the Taieri River that currently follows a circuitous 200 km course as one of the main drainages in Otago. The ancestral Taieri River drained only coastal hills initiated in the Miocene, and much of what is now the upper Taieri catchment flowed into the ancestral Clutha River. Major river reorientation events occurred in the upper half of the catchment because of rise of antiformal fold mountains in the Pleistocene, forming a new divide between the Taieri and Clutha catchments. Coeval incision of a gorge through a volcanic rock barrier connected the upper catchment to the lower Taieri River. The sparse Pleistocene sedimentary record documents these drainage changes via contrasting distribution of distinctive clasts derived from greywacke mountains on the northern edge of the Otago Schist belt. These major capture events are also supported by distributions and genetic divergences of freshwater galaxiid fish species. Erosion during Pleistocene rise of the antiformal mountains caused recycling of placer gold into Clutha tributaries before the Taieri River evolved to its present geometry, thereby limiting the placer gold content of the modern Taieri catchment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:genetics, geomorphology, gold, gravel, fish, river capture, phylogeography
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Geomorphology and earth surface processes
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Burridge, CP (Associate Professor Christopher Burridge)
ID Code:109088
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-05-20
Last Modified:2017-10-30

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