Okarito Lagoon
The Okarito Lagoon is located to the west of a fault line of 600 km length that led to the development of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It is the same collision zone that caused the volcanoes on the northern island. The lateral motion of the plates against each other along the transform fault causes friction. The resulting young Southern Alps reached an amazing height of about 20.000 m in the last 20 million years. This is the maximum altitude of mountains possible on our planet. The Southern Alps are still growing but their rate of erosion due to precipitation weathering on the western slopes is much higher than the uplift. Today large parts of this mountain range already eroded but still makes an impressive backdrop for this brackwater lagoon.
March 2001
Pentax MZ5, Pentax 50mm, f/22, 1sec, Kodak Ektachrome E6, ISO 100, polarization filter, tripod