Story: Sea floor geology

Continental shelves

Continental shelves

Most continents, including Australia, have a relatively narrow rim of submerged continental crust. However, the New Zealand continent is unique: 93% of it is submerged, with huge areas of relatively shallow seas extending north-west as far as tropical New Caledonia, and south-east to the scattered subantarctic islands. Most of the continental area is made of true continental crust, but to the north-east (upper right) it is high-standing oceanic crust that has been raised by tectonic forces.

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Source: NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

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How to cite this page:

Keith Lewis, Scott D. Nodder and Lionel Carter, 'Sea floor geology - Zealandia: the New Zealand continent', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 April 2024)

Story by Keith Lewis, Scott D. Nodder and Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006