New maps and website give fresh insights into NZ continent
Two maps and a website released by GNS Science this week give insights into the amazing forces that shaped Aotearoa New Zealand and the mostly submerged continent that lies beneath our feet.
The maps cover the bathymetry (shape of the ocean floor) and the tectonic origins of Earth's eighth continent—the 5 million square kilometer Te Riu-a-Māui / Zealandia on which New Zealand sits.
They can also be accessed through a new interactive website called E Tūhura—Explore Zealandia (TEZ) – data.gns.cri.nz/tez. TEZ is designed for exploring onland and offshore geoscience data in and around Te Riu-a-Māui/Zealandia.
"These maps are a scientific benchmark—but they're also more than that. They're a way of communicating our work to our colleagues, stakeholders, educators and the public," lead author of the maps, geologist Dr. Nick Mortimer says.
"We've made these maps to provide an accurate, complete and up-to-date picture of the geology of the New Zealand and southwest Pacific area—better than we have had before.
"Their value is that they provide a fresh context in which to explain and understand the setting of New Zealand's volcanoes, plate boundary and sedimentary basins."
The TEZ website presents a wealth of maps, graphics and other information on the continent compiled in GNS Science research programs.
Programme Leader Vaughan Stagpoole says TEZ provides the perfect way for users to explore geoscience data from the comfort of their homes or offices.
"Users can zoom and pan around different thematic geoscience webmaps of the region. They can readily view and interrogate the maps and turn layers on or off. They can also query features in the layers and generate custom maps of their own," Dr. Stagpoole says.
As more research results become available, GNS Science will update the maps and add more information to the interactive website.
Copies of the printed maps are available either as flat or folded at $15 each ($25 for the pair). PDF files can be downloaded at no cost. Both maps and PDFs are available through the GNS Online Store. An accompanying GNS Science Report 2020/01 lists the data sources used to compile the map posters. The GIS layers from the posters are also available through the TEZ interactive website.