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UNESCO New Zealand Tentative List - Auckland Volcanic Fields


New Zealand UNESCO Tentative List
Auckland Volcanic Field
Cone and other geological features of volcanic origin
The proposed site consists of cones and other geological features of volcanic origin in urban Auckland and rural south Auckland. This serial site is proposed as a Mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage Site. Sites of cultural value include the iconic cones of Maungawhau/Mount Eden, Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill, Maungarei/Mount Wellington, and Te Pane o Mataaho/Mangere Mountain, and the remarkable Otuataua stonefield gardens complex. Sites of natural value include the Rangitoto shield and scoria caves, the Ihumatao fossil forest and the Wiri lava cave. The Auckland Isthmus and region have been the scene of a series of basaltic volcanic eruptions over the past 250 000 years resulting in a field covering approximately 100 km2, including approximately 50 eruption centres with scoria cones and maar craters and 8000 ha of lava flow fields. All of the eruptions were short-lived, and each volcano, or cluster of vents, was the product of a single eruptive episode. The last eruption, of Rangitoto, occurred about 600 years ago. The volcanic cones dominate the wider views of the Auckland landscape.
The resources afforded by the cones supported a long period of Maori settlement, use and occupation. Each cone was surrounded by large areas of rich volcanic soils providing extensive gardens. Most were modified by Maori and have had their slopes and summits modified by digging, to form terraces, ditches, banks, and pits, for living, gardening and defence, forming a significant cultural landscape.
Some cones in the Auckland region have been modified in recent times or destroyed for extraction of scoria for construction. The cones included in this nomination are relatively intact, and have survived due to their iconic status and their protection as public reserves.
The two stonefield sites, Otuataua and Matukutureia, are both remnants of the former extensive stone-walled garden and settlement sites located within the volcanic landscape.
Although not unique as a collection of small basaltic scoria cones and maar craters, the Auckland field has an unusual diversity of features. Represented are a full range of vents and explosion craters, right up to evolved cones and lava shields.

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This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 22 August, 2010.

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