Collectively, these islands in southern New Zealand covered an area of at least 20,000 km2, about the same size as present day New Caledonia.
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Laguna Espejo and Laguna Reloj (39ºS/72º10´W; 320 m asl) have been described as maar-like monogenetic volcanic lakes both ~550 m in diameter and 35 m of water depth.
Due to the low ratio between diameter and water depth, these maar-lakes provide ideal conditions for undisturbed and often anoxic sediment deposition and prservation.
The lakes are situated at the west-side of the Last Glacial Maximun (LGM) moraine belt so they were not affected by the glacial advances, becoming an ideal long-lived and climate-sensitive lakes in south-central Chile.
Daphne E Lee, Department of Geology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand Jon K Lindqvist, Department of Geology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand Alan G Beu, GNS Science, PO Box 30 368, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Dallas C Mildenhall, GNS Science, PO Box 30 368, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Elizabeth M Kennedy, GNS Science, PO Box 30 368, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Nick Mortimer, GNS Science, Private Bag 1930, Dunedin, New Zealand P Jane Forsyth, GNS Science, Private Bag 1930, Dunedin, New Zealand We provide evidence that indicates substantial forested islands existed in southern New Zealand during maximum marine transgression in the mid-late Oligocene.
One large island (~140 km x 100 km) on Otago Schist basement had shorelines near Kokonga, Naseby, Queenstown on the margin of the subsiding Waiau Basin, and near Waikaia and Waikaka.
A meandering river system drained south into the Pomahaka Embayment.
The Pomahaka coastline was likely contiguous with the Catlins Block, a substantial 80 x 70 km region of uplifted Murihiku Terrane basement that probably extended south to Stewart Island.
The western coastline of the Catlins Block formed a gently indented ridge and valley system that was onlapped during periods of higher sea level.
Elsewhere on the East Southland platform, at Cosy Dell, a forested island with a river and estuary formed another rocky shore directly on Murihiku basement.
Further south and west, the sea lapped on exposed basement rocks of Brook Street Terrane at Bluff and around the Longwood Range near Pourakino.
On the west side of the Waiau graben, Oligocene rocky shorelines such as that at Mt Luxmore formed on the Fiordland margin.