Physical Oceanography of the New Zealand Fjords
The south-west coast of the South Island of New Zealand is indented by a group of fjords extending from Milford Sound in the north to Preservation Inlet in the south. The fjords are the drowned lower reaches of valleys formerly occupied by glaciers. They have typical fjord features, being narrow, steep sided and having one or more submarine sills separating their relatively deep basins from the Tasman Sea. The mountainous nature of the land and its exposure to prevailing westerly weather systems results in high rainfall and large freshwater runoff into the fjords.
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