Story: Sea floor geology

Basins, troughs and trenches

Basins, troughs and trenches

The topography of New Zealand’s sea floor is varied, with large areas of both shallow and deep water. Regions of deeper water are referred to as basins, trenches or troughs (indicated in blue). Basins and troughs are large areas of relatively uniform depth, much like plains on land, while trenches have much steeper sides, more like river gorges. The deepest waters occur in trenches, which also mark the boundaries of continental plates.

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Source: Ray Wood and others, New Zealand’s continental shelf and UNCLOS Article 76. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences; Wellington: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, 2003

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How to cite this page:

Keith Lewis, Scott D. Nodder and Lionel Carter, 'Sea floor geology - Abysses', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/map/5607/basins-troughs-and-trenches (accessed 12 April 2021)

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