Story: Geology – overview

New Zealand adrift

New Zealand adrift

About 85 million years ago a spreading ridge formed in the future Tasman Sea, causing a continental fragment, including the future New Zealand, to break away from Gondwana. This reconstruction shows that at about 70 million years ago the Tasman Sea has opened up, and the continental fragment (Zealandia) is quite separate from Gondwana.

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GNS Science
Reference: E. McSaveney and R. Sutherland, New Zealand adrift. 2nd ed. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, 2005

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney and Simon Nathan, 'Geology – overview - New Zealand breaks away from Gondwana', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 April 2024)

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