The Rise and Fall of the Southern Alps

Rise and Fall of the Southern Alps, The

Glen Coates, with illustrations by Geoffrey Cox

November 2002, reprinted 2016, 2020
80pp, Paperback
280 x 210mm, colour photos and artwork throughout
ISBN: 978-0-908812-93-6

The Southern Alps/Ka Tiritiri o te Moana are New Zealand's largest structural feature. Running north and south for most of the length of the South Island, they cross the Roaring Forties and divide the island into two distinct regions, east and west, each with its own unique climate, landscape and lifeforms.

In this new book, geologist Glen Coates joins with the artist and author Geoffrey Cox to tell how the Alps were formed from ancient marine sediments, how they were uplifted to become mountains, and how they are being eroded down to produce the spectacular landscape seen today in the South Island.

Even in just the past few million years vast blocks of land have been shunted incredible distances, and today frequent earthquakes remind us that this is a restless part of the earth where mountain-building is still in full swing. Rivers and glaciers, past and present, carve out a multitude of valleys and ranges, and wide plains have spread out at the mountains' feet.

All this is told in vivid, non-technical language and copiously illustrated with colour photographs and artwork. The result is a book suitable for use in schools and by all who take an interest in their landscape and heritage.

Glenn Coates is a Christchurch-based geologist and director of Kahu Publishing, producers of brochures and postcards about the New Zealand landscape. He has previously worked for the University of Canterbury and the New Zealand Geological Survey, and is a consultant to the new Museum of History in Hong Kong.

Geoffrey Cox is the author and artist of numerous books on New Zealand's volcanoes, dinosaurs and natural history. His last book with CUP was Slumbering Giants: the volcanic past of Banks Peninsula.