New Zealand and Oblique-Slip Margins: Tectonic Development up to and during the Cainozoic

  1. Peter F. Ballance and
  2. Harold G. Reading
  1. K. B. Spörli

Published Online: 20 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303735.ch9

Sedimentation in Oblique-Slip Mobile Zones

Sedimentation in Oblique-Slip Mobile Zones

How to Cite

Spörli, K. B. (1980) New Zealand and Oblique-Slip Margins: Tectonic Development up to and during the Cainozoic, in Sedimentation in Oblique-Slip Mobile Zones (eds P. F. Ballance and H. G. Reading), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303735.ch9

Author Information

  1. Geology Department, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 11 SEP 1980

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632006076

Online ISBN: 9781444303735

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Keywords:

  • New Zealand and oblique-slip margins - tectonic development;
  • Oblique structures, developing during deposition and deformation of the Carboniferous to late Jurassic Rangitata Sequence;
  • oblique rhombic patterns, dominating Cainozoic block fault systems;
  • Hawke's Bay and Wanganui monoclines - tectonic features of the North Island;
  • faulting, dominating Cainozoic tectonic pattern;
  • Alpine Fault, major tectonic feature of New Zealand;
  • Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary basins, consisting of Tasman Sea Basin

Summary

The tectonic development of New Zealand is reviewed with the aim of assessing the role of oblique-slip movements.

Early and mid-Palaeozoic rock units of the ‘foreland province’ have been affected by the late Devonian to Carboniferous Tuhua Orogeny. Structures across the regional trends may record the earliest oblique-slip regime. Oblique structures were also developed during deposition and deformation of the Carboniferous to late Jurassic Rangitata Sequence. Up to the early Cretaceous Rangitata Orogeny the history of New Zealand was that of the Pacific margin of Gondwanaland. After this orogeny New Zealand separated from Gondwanaland. The basins formed in the process of separation can be grouped as follows: (i) Cretaceous, early rifting basins (e.g. New Caledonia Basin, Bounty Trough). (ii) Late Cretaceous–early Tertiary basins (e.g. Tasman Sea Basin). (iii) Eocene–Oligocene basins (e.g. South Fiji Basin). (iv) Basins which have opened during the last 10 m.y. (e.g. Lau–Havre Trough). Emplacement of the Northland Allochthon took place in the late Oligocene, when the pole of relative plate movement between the India and Pacific plates was close to New Zealand. Cainozoic calcalkaline arc volcanism was first established in the Miocene of northern New Zealand. The subduction was possibly associated with transform movement along a predecessor of the Alpine Fault. The presently active regime of compressional oblique slip on the Alpine Fault was initiated 10–15 m.y. ago.

Cainozoic block fault systems are dominated by oblique rhombic patterns in broad zones on both sides of the Alpine Fault. A rectangular pattern prevails in northernmost New Zealand. Along the East Coast of the North Island, déecollement combined with dextral oblique-slip has led to strong imbrication and en echelon folding. Two major tectonic features of the North Island are the Hawke's Bay and Wanganui monoclines.