Crustal Structure and Origin of Basins Formed Behind the Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand

  1. Raymond A. Price
  1. T. A. Stern and
  2. F. J. Davey

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM048p0073

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources

How to Cite

Stern, T. A. and Davey, F. J. (1989) Crustal Structure and Origin of Basins Formed Behind the Hikurangi Subduction Zone, New Zealand, in Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources (ed R. A. Price), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM048p0073

Author Information

  1. Geophysics Division, DSIR, P.O. Box 1320, Wellington, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904528

Online ISBN: 9781118666654

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Keywords:

  • Sedimentary basins—Congresses;
  • Mines and mineral resources—Congresses;
  • Power resources—Congresses

Summary

Two principal basin types have formed behind the Hikurangi Margin of New Zealand. Both basins formed in the past 4–5 Ma. An extensional back-arc basin has developed behind the northern portion of the subduction zone where the subducted Pacific plate extends to a depth of 300 km or more, and the subduction process is well established. Behind the southern portion of the Hikurangi Margin, on the other hand, subduction is a younger phenomenon, and the subducted plate has reached a depth of only about 200 km. Here a broad sedimentary basin—the Wanganui Basin—has developed in the back-arc region which is characterized by steeply dipping reverse faults and intense crustal seismicity. Multichannel seismic reflection data are interpreted to show that the reflection Moho has been flexed downward beneath the Wanganui Basin, with the half-wavelength of flexure being about 200 km.1t is thus proposed that within the North Island of New Zealand we are observing a time progression in the development of back-arc basins. In the initial stages of subduction (0–8 Ma) a flexurally controlled, compressional basin is developed, followed by a fully fledged extensional back-arc basin with high heat flow after about 10–20 Ma of subduction history.