This work has been inspired by the characteristic U-shaped and V-shaped glaciated valleys seen throughout the lush green mountainous landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island. It offers a humble interpretation of the location, characteristic shape, tell-tale sediment deposits (represented by the gold dots), sporadic waterfalls, and astounding origin of these valleys.
Characteristic U-shaped valleys are evident throughout mountainous regions in the world that experienced glaciation during the ice ages. These valleys have been carved out by a glacial erosion process whereby the glaciers erode and abrade the valleys in which they lay. During the erosion process, the glaciers deposit sediment (glacial till) ‘down ice’ on the floor of the emerging carved valley. Another characteristic feature of the glacial erosion process is the formation tributary ‘hanging valleys’ that sit above a main valley and which often have waterfalls located near or at the outlet of an upper valley.