Geological Units Common to Eastern Australia and New Zealand

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
New Zealand is an exposed part of a sub- continent that was detached from Australia when the Tasman Sea opened in the Late Cretaceous. The pre-separation rocks occur in three main belts. A western belt or terrane was part of Antarctica, was continuous with southern Australian rocks, and was moved eastwards in the Mid Devonian. A central belt of Hokonui and Caples rocks can be correlated broadly with the Gympie Terrane of eastern Queensland. It was an island arc, fore-arc basin and accretionary wedge system, and it was accreted to eastern Australasia in the Mid Triassic. The third belt consists of Torlesse rocks and was possibly emplaced over the Caples rocks by at least three pulses of strike-slip, in the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous. The three episodes of strike-slip can be correlated with regional events in eastern Australia. Pre-Cainozoic New Zealand was an amalgam of terranes that had moved eastwards from south of Australia and southwards from east of Australia.
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