Jane Richardson

Doctor of Philosophy, (Geography)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Are the Northland rivers of New Zealand in synchrony with global Holocene climate change?

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mrs Richardson’s research focussed on reconstructing river behaviour in Northland, New Zealand, during the Holocene (the last ~11,700 years),  in order to determine whether or not the region’s rivers were in synchrony with global climate change. The research demonstrates that at the centennial–scale, regional atmospheric circulation change is a key driver of river behaviour in New Zealand,  with anthropogenic catchment disturbance responsible for enhanced river activity in the last ~500 years. Evidence from Northland rivers suggests that a globally extensive abrupt climate change signal can promote a synchronous fluvial response, overprinting complex regional patterns of Holocene river behaviour. It is likely that any future climate change involving a shift in the atmospheric circulation regime will impact on river behaviour in New Zealand.

Professor Ian Fuller
Professor Mark Macklin
Dr Nicola Litchfield
Dr Katherine Holt