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Published 6 April 2022

Special issue on the Hikurangi Subduction Margin released 

The New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics has released the first of two special issue volumes dedicated to the sedimentary systems of the Hikurangi Subduction Margin.

The special issue, Understanding sedimentary systems and processes of the Hikurangi Subduction Margin, Part 1 was guest edited by Lorna Strachan (UoA), Alan Orpin (NIWA), Adam McArthur (Leeds), Julien Bailleul (UniLaSalle) and Kyle Bland (GNS Science).

The Hikurangi Subduction Margin is the southernmost section of the plate boundary fault where the Pacific tectonic plate is subducted beneath the Australian plate, sinking into the Earth’s mantle. This process of subduction is the overarching theme of this volume, with each paper exploring the influences of subduction on the evolution of sediment systems over time.

For the purposes of this special issue, the Hikurangi Subduction Margin is defined as a region stretching at least 200 km from the Hikurangi Trench off the east coast of Te Ika-a-Māui the North Island to the Taupō Volcanic Zone. Guest editors call this young and active plate boundary “an accessible global laboratory for tectonic, sedimentological, and paleontological research,” and the diverse array of international scholars included in this volume reflects the world-wide interest in this geological research hub. 

The nine papers in this special issue utilise an impressive array of tools and sophisticated technologies to unravel the geological history hidden within layers of sedimentary record. The first section includes papers focussing on the early history of the Hikurangi Subduction Margin during the Miocene, approximately 23 to 5 million years ago. Papers in the second section examine sedimentary systems of the Quaternary age, which began about 2.5 million years ago to today. According to the guest editors, “tantalising results from these papers reveal a margin rattled by frequent storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

Special issue: Understanding sedimentary systems and processes of the Hikurangi Subduction Margin. Part 1

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi