Braided River System Near Glenorchy New Zealand

April 02, 2018

Braided River Glenorchy (1) April 2018 Viewer's Choice
Photographer: Simon Williams 
Summary Authors: Simon Williams; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a braided stream system (the Dart River) near Glenorchy, South Island, New Zealand, was captured from a helicopter. In the distance, flanked by the Southern Alps, is glacier-gouged Lake Wakatipu, the 3rd biggest lake in New Zealand -- 52 miles (83 km) long. A characteristic of braided drainage systems is that they occur in streams or rivers having low slopes and often high sediment loads, such as streams approaching the inflow of large lakes or flowing from the base of a glacier. Nearly all braided streams have banks that easily erode, thus forming wide, shallow channels. 

Because rain and clouds are such prominent features of the South Island's west coast, rarely are views here so clear. This area was featured in the "Lord of the Rings" movies as Isengard. Photo taken on December 14, 2017.