Southern Alps

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Southern Alps,

mountain range, on South Island, New Zealand, paralleling the west coast. It rises to 12,349 ft (3,764 m) at Mt. AorangiAorangi, Mount
, Mount Aoraki
[both: Maori,=cloud in the sky], or Mount Cook,
12,254 ft (3,735 m) high, on the South Island, New Zealand, in the Southern Alps; highest peak of New Zealand. Several glaciers, including the Tasman and Hooker, radiate from its flanks.
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 (Mt. Cook), New Zealand's highest peak. Extensively glaciated, the snowcapped range has many deep gorges; Tasman and Franz Josef glaciers are there.

Southern Alps


a mountain range in New Zealand that stretches from southwest to northeast for almost the entire length of the South Island. The Southern Alps have elevations of 2,000–3,000 m, with a maximum of 3,764 m at Mount Cook. They are composed primarily of schists; intrusions of granites and peridotites are also found. Alpine-type landforms predominate. Glaciers, covering a total area of 1,000 sq km, and perennial snow are encountered; the principal glaciers are the Tasman, Franz Josef, and Fox. The windward western slopes have broadleaved and coniferous evergreen forests, and the leeward eastern slopes have drought-resistant shrubs and grasses. A railroad and highway that connect the western and eastern coasts of the South Island run through Arthur’s Pass.

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