Mt Cook/Aoraki formation Vinoth Loganathan New Zealand is a country which ‘straddles’ between two tectonic plates; the indo-Australian and the Pacific. The location of the South Island is south of both Australia and South Africa; this is a major contributor to the geological process of weathering because it makes Mt. Cook subject to the westerly winds. MT Cook is situated in the Southern Alps between the two tectonic plates mentioned above. Its current height is now stated at 3,753 meters making it the tallest mountain in Australasia. The mountain itself has been formed by three main geological processes; one internal: tectonic uplifting and 2 external: weathering and erosion. Internal:
1. Tectonic Uplifting
Mt. Cook was formed by the internal process of orgenic tectonic uplifting, where two plates collide and one plate increases in elevation and the opposite plate decreases. However Mt. Cook formed differently compared to other mountains. This is due to both tectonic plates having landmass on the top and the plates meeting at different angles. The movement occurring here is grinding which pushes up land mass (Mt. Cook) and creates a transform fault. Present rate of uplift is 5-10 mm a year but this is easily countered by weathering and erosion. Evidence of this uplift is apparent on the mount on the south ridge specifically the Endeavour col fold where sand, mud and silt has been folded and fractures forming vertical beds of silt and sandstone. Overall the tectonic uplift of Mt. Cook over the past 2 to 3 million years could have been up to 20 kilometres but weathering and erosion have easily countered it. Westerly Winds
Mt. Cook has been shaped by powerful forces of weathering. Mt Cook is subject to high amounts of weathering due to its height and location. Mt Cook is located...
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