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Wild Rivers

Wild Rivers. Image: Julian Thomson.

Image: Julian Thomson.

New Zealand experiences high rainfall, being surrounded by ocean, and has many wild and fast flowing rivers.

Rivers cut down through the landscape and move huge amounts of eroded rock to the sea.

From the mountains to the sea:

  • Upland rivers – flow rapidly down steep slopes and are highly erosive, with many rapids and waterfalls.
  • Flood plains and river valleys – at the foot of the mountains the slope angle decreases. Many streams join together and the sediment is spread across the land surface by the larger meandering river.
    Wild Rivers 2. Image: Julian Thomson.

    Image: Julian Thomson.

  • River mouth – when the river reaches the sea, the sediment is transported along the coast and down onto the continental shelf by ocean currents.

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