Topography refers to the steepness, landscape position and surface shape of a section of land.
In the topographic diagram (top right):
- the low lying silt loam soil has developed from alluvial deposits (an old riverbed)
- the clay soil has developed from weathering of mudstone. The mudstone has been raised up by tectonic movement.
The diagram (right) shows terraces alongside the Waikato River.
These terraces have formed primarily from flooding. Examples of such terrace formations can be seen alongside Lake Karapiro and above where the Waikato River flows alongside the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton:
Modification of the terrace formations and the soils on them was begun by early Maori.
Modern agricultural practices continue to modify the terraces and their soils.