Sonic imaging reveals new plate boundary structures offshore New Zealand



Recent bathymetry and sonar imagery studies of offshore portions of the plate boundary transecting New Zealand allow the first confident mapping of detailed tectonic and sedimentary patterns of the region. Working in late 1993 aboard the R/V L'Atalante of the Institut Francais de Recherche pour l' Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), we recorded soundings of a wide swath of seabed to elucidate major structural transitions along the plate boundary. Results of the study, part of the GEODYNZ-SUD program developed jointly by institutions in France and New Zealand, will be complemented by New Zealand cruises to the Puysegur and Hikurangi margins. The total data set will be processed and interpreted during the next two years.