New insights into the origin and evolution of the Hikurangi oceanic plateau



Oceanic plateaus and continental flood basalts, collectively referred to as large igneous provinces (LIPs), represent the most voluminous volcanic events on Earth. In contrast to continental LIPs, relatively little is known about the surface and internal structure, range in age and chemical composition, origin, and evolution of oceanic plateaus, which occur throughout the worlds oceans [e.g., Mahoney and Coffin, 1997].

One of the major goals of the R/V Sonne SO168 ZEALANDIA expedition (depart Wellington, 3 December 2002, return Christchurch, 15 January 2003) was to investigate the Hikurangi oceanic plateau off the east coast of New Zealand.