The Canterbury Region is New Zealand’s largest area region by area (45,346 km2). The regions proximity to the Southern Alps profoundly affects the climate, with greater extremes than most other parts of New Zealand. Of the countries main cities, Christchurch has the least rainfall (648 mm per year, or roughly half that of Auckland and Wellington) and the greatest range of temperatures. The average daily maximum and minimum temperatures in February are 22.2 and 11.3 oC and those in July are 12.1 and 1.9 oC.
The Canterbury district comprises four regions: the high main divide of the Southern Alps forming the western margin, composed of greywackes and argillites; the range-and-basin terrain of the foothills are comprised of similar rocks interspersed with interspersed with later sediments and some volcanics; the extensive piedmont Canterbury Plains are covered with Quaternary alluvium; and to the east Banks Peninsula retains to geological features related to the extinct volcanoes that first formed the rocky outcrop. The flat Canterbury plains form one of the most important agricultural area of New Zealand, being well suited to the mechanized care of grains, pasture seed and fodder crops.
Below: DNA has already been collected from over 60 soil samples located at approximately 12 sites within the Canterbury Region