Story: Geology – overview

Rocks offset along the Alpine Fault

Rocks offset along the Alpine Fault

The Alpine Fault is a clearly marked topographic feature cutting obliquely across the South Island. The opposite sides have slid sideways past each other for 480 kilometres over the last 15–20 million years, separating rocks that were originally joined together. One distinctive feature marking the offset is a narrow belt of dunite and associated ultramafic rocks (shown in red). As the photographs show, the landscape on these rocks at the opposite ends of the Alpine Fault is very similar.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Inset photos GNS Science CN1191/11 (top) and CN6280/21 (bottom)
Photograph by Lloyd Homer

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Geology – overview - Rocky foundations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 June 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006