Kermadec Plate

The Kermadec Plate is a very long and narrow tectonic plate located west of the Kermadec Trench in the south Pacific Ocean. Also included on this tectonic plate is a small portion of the North Island of New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands. It is separated from the Australian Plate by a long divergent boundary which forms a back-arc basin. This area is highly prone to earthquakes and tsunami.

Kermadec Plate map-fr
the Kermadec Plate.

See also


  • Bird, P. (2003). "An updated digital model of plate boundaries". Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 4 (3): 1027. doi:10.1029/2001GC000252.
Banc Capel

Banc Capel is a guyot, or flat-topped underwater volcano, in the Coral Sea.

Bounty Trough

The Bounty Trough is a major submerged feature, a bathymetric depression, of the oceanography of the southwest Pacific Ocean. It is located off the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is named after the Bounty Islands near the Eastern end of the trough. The islands in turn, named after HMS Bounty.

Challenger Plateau

The Challenger Plateau is a large submarine plateau west of New Zealand and south of the Lord Howe Rise. It has an approximate diameter of 500 km (310 mi) and an area of about 280,000 km2 (110,000 sq mi). The water depth over the plateau varies between 500 m (1,600 ft) to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and is covered by up to 3,500 m (11,500 ft) of sedimentary rocks of Upper Cretaceous to recent in age. The plateau originated in the Gondwanan breakup and is one of the five major submerged parts of Zealandia, a largely submerged continent.

Graveyard Seamounts

The Graveyard Seamounts is the informal name for the Graveyard Knolls. These are a series of 28 small seamounts (underwater volcanoes) and edifices located on the Chatham Rise, east of New Zealand. They cover about 140 km2 (54 sq mi) and stand out from the surrounding oceanic plateau that measures several hundred kilometers. They are named after various morose figures following the naming of the largest of the knolls as "the Graveyard" as it was a graveyard of fishing gear that became stuck on it. The most prominent among the group of knolls are Ghoul, Diabolical, Voodoo, Scroll, Hartless, Pyre, Gothic, Zombie, Mummy, Headstone, Morgue and Graveyard (ordered roughly by increasing size).

Healy (volcano)

Healy is a submarine volcano located among New Zealand's Kermadec Islands. Its last major eruption took place around 1360, creating a large caldera.

The volcano's name originates from the British-Australian explorer and navigator Captain Jake Healy who first wrote about the volcano in his journal after noticing Volcanic glass in the water while he was fishing.

Hikurangi Plateau

The Hikurangi Plateau is an oceanic plateau in the South Pacific Ocean east of the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of a large igneous province (LIP) together with Manihiki and Ontong Java, now located 3,000 km (1,900 mi) and 3,500 km (2,200 mi) north of Hikurangi respectively. Mount Hikurangi, in Māori mythology the first part of North Island to emerge from the ocean, gave its name to the plateau.

Hikurangi Trench

The Hikurangi Trench, also called the Hikurangi Trough, is an oceanic trench in the bed of the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, lying between the southern end of the Cook Strait and the Chatham Rise. It is the southward continuation of the much deeper Kermadec Trench. It lies in the Hikurangi Margin subduction zone, which is the southern extension of the Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone. The Hikurangi Margin is the subduction zone where the thick oceanic Hikurangi Plateau is subducting beneath continental crust of the Indo-Australian Plate. By contrast, the Kermadec and Tonga trenches represent the parts of the subduction zone where oceanic crust of the Pacific Plate is subducting beneath oceanic crust of the Indo-Australian Plate.

Although shallower than the trenches north of it, the Hikurangi Trench reaches depths of 3,000 metres as close as 80 kilometres from shore. Its maximum depth is about 3,750 metres (12,300 ft).At the southern end of the trench, off the coast of the Marlborough region, the seabed rises sharply, and because of the prevailing winds and tides in this area, many deep water species are found close to the shore. This food source attracts the whales for which the town of Kaikoura is famous.

The plate boundary continues inland along the Marlborough Fault System, linking through to the Alpine Fault. Here the plates converge much more obliquely, exhibiting transpression instead of subduction.

Kenn Plateau

The Kenn Plateau is a large piece of submerged continental crust off northeastern Australia that rifted from northeastern Australia about 63-52 mya, along with other nearby parts of the Zealandia continent.


Kermadec or de Kermadec may refer to:

Kermadec Islands, a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand

Kermadec Plate, a long narrow tectonic plate located west of the Kermadec Trench

Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone, a convergent plate boundary

Kermadec Trench, one of Earth's deepest oceanic trenches, reaching a depth of 10047 m

Eugène de Kermadec (1899–1976), a French painter

Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec (1748–1792), an 18th-century French navigator

Liliane de Kermadec (born 1928), a French film director and screenwriter

Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone is a convergent plate boundary that stretches from the North Island of New Zealand northward. The formation of the Kermadec and Tonga Plates started about 4–5 million years ago. Today, the eastern boundary of the Tonga Plate is one of the fastest subduction zones, with a rate up to 24 cm/yr. The trench formed between the Kermadec-Tonga and Pacific Plates is also home to the second deepest trench in the world, at about 10,800 m, as well as the longest chain of submerged volcanoes.

List of tectonic plates

This is a list of tectonic plates on the Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around 100 km (62 mi) thick and consist of two principal types of material: oceanic crust (also called sima from silicon and magnesium) and continental crust (sial from silicon and aluminium). The composition of the two types of crust differs markedly, with mafic basaltic rocks dominating oceanic crust, while continental crust consists principally of lower-density felsic granitic rocks.

Maari oil field

The Maari oilfield is an oil reservoir located 80 kilometres (50 mi) off the coast of South Taranaki, New Zealand. Maari is the second largest crude oil field in New Zealand with total reserves of 49 million barrels (7.8×10^6 m3). Production of oil began in February 2009, and the field is expected to have a productive life of 10 to 15 years. The lead partner for the field is OMV New Zealand (69%), with other parties Horizon Oil (26%) and Cue Taranaki (5%).

Macquarie Fault Zone

The Macquarie Fault Zone is a major right lateral-moving transform fault along the seafloor of the south Pacific Ocean which runs from New Zealand southwestward to the Macquarie Triple Junction. It is also the tectonic plate boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate to the northwest and the Pacific Plate to the southeast.

The Macquarie Fault Zone includes a component of convergence which increases as it approaches the South Island of New Zealand. Many researchers conclude that the fault zone here is an incipient subduction zone, with oblique motion corresponding to the transition from lateral (strike-slip) motion. In the area known as the Puysegur Trench, the Indo-Australian Plate appears to be starting to sink beneath the Pacific Plate, the reverse of what is occurring off of New Zealand's North Island (see Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone).

A major geographic feature which runs along the Macquarie Fault Zone is known as the Macquarie Ridge. This ridge represents both the different relative heights of the abutting plates as well as the component of compression between the plates. The namesake Macquarie Island, named after Lachlan Macquarie lies atop a segment of the Macquarie Ridge.

The Macquarie Fault Zone merges into the Alpine Fault which cuts across the continental crust of New Zealand's South Island.

Norfolk Ridge

The Norfolk Ridge is a long submarine ridge running between New Caledonia and New Zealand, about 1300 km off the east-coast of Australia.

It is part of a complex region of ridges between the crust of the Pacific Basin and the continental crust of Australia. Little is known about the Norfolk Ridge; however, it generally lies about 2000 m below sea level and consists of Late Cretaceous continental crust. It is part of Zealandia, a submerged continent that sank 60-85 million years ago.

Pohokura field

The Pohokura field is an oil and gas field located 4 km offshore of north Taranaki in New Zealand, in approximately 30 m of water. The field was discovered in 2000 by Fletcher Challenge and has ultimate recoverable reserves (1P) of 1,227 Bcf (1435 PJ) of gas and 61 mmbbls of oil and condensate.The field has 6 offshore and 3 onshore wells, with the production station located on shore, adjacent to the Motunui methanol plant. The production station is unmanned, and is operated from a control room in New Plymouth. The first commercial production was in September 2006.

In 2009, Pohokura was the largest gas-producing field in New Zealand, producing 42% of total production.Pohokura is owned by OMV (74%) and Todd Energy (26%), and is operated by OMV.

Puysegur Trench

The 6,300-metre (20,700 ft) deep Puysegur Trench is a deep cleft in the floor of the south Tasman Sea formed by the subduction of the Indo-Australian Plate under the Pacific Plate to the south of New Zealand. Immediately to its east lies a ridge, a northern extension of the Macquarie Ridge, which separates the Puysegur Trench from the Solander Trough. To the west is the expanse of the Tasman Basin, which stretches most of the distance to Australia. To the north of the trench lies the Fiordland Basin, which can be considered an extension of the trench. The Puysegur Trench mirrors the Kermadec Trench and Tonga Trench north of New Zealand.

The Puysegur Trench stretches for over 800 kilometres south from the southwesternmost point of the South Island's coast, its southernmost extent being 400 kilometres due west of the Auckland Islands. It is named after Puysegur Point.

Tonga-Kermadec Ridge

The Tonga-Kermadec Ridge is an oceanic ridge in the south-west Pacific Ocean underlying the Tonga-Kermadec island arc.

It is the most linear, fastest converging, and most seismically active subduction boundary on Earth, and consequently has the highest density of submarine volcanoes.The Tonga-Kermadec Ridge stretches more than 3,000 km (1,900 mi) north-northeast from New Zealand's North Island. The Pacific Plate subducts westward beneath the Australian Plate along the ridge. It is divided into two segments, the northern Tonga Ridge and southern Kermadec Ridge, by the Louisville Seamount Chain. On its western side, the ridge is flanked by two back-arc basins, the Lau Basin and Havre Trough, that began opening at 6 Ma and 2 Ma respectively. Together with these younger basins the ridge forms the eastward-migrating, 100 Ma-old Lau-Tonga-Havre-Kermadec arc/back-arc system or complex.The extension in the Lau-Havre basin results in a higher rate of subduction than convergence along the Australian-Pacific plate boundary. The rates of extension, subduction, and convergence all increase northwards in this complex, subduction at a rate of 24–6 cm/year (9.4–2.4 in/year) and extension at a rate of 91–159 mm/a (3.6–6.3 in/year). As a result, the Tonga-Kermadec Ridge moves independently of both tectonic plates and forms the Tonga-Kermadec Plate, in its turn fragmented into the Niuafo'ou, Tonga, and Kermadec microplates.The Samoa and Louisville mantle plumes both contribute to the lavas of two of the northern Tonga islands, Tafahi and Niuatoputapu; ocean island basalt (OIB) from the Samoa plume were introduced from 3-4 Ma when subduction in the Vitiaz Trench (north-west of Tonga) ceased. The lavas of the Louisville Seamount Chain were generated 80-90 Ma but began to subduct under the Tonga-Kermadec Ridge at c. 8 Ma.The Hikurangi and Manihiki plateaux, north and south of the Tonga-Kermadec Ridge respectively, form part of the Ontong Java-Hikurangi-Manihiki large igneous province (LIP), the largest volcanic event on Earth during the past 200 million years.

The Osbourn Trough, located just north of the Tonga-Kermadec and Louisville intersection, is the palaeo-spreading centre between the Hikurangi and Manihiki plateaux away from which the age of the Pacific Plate increases from c. 85 Ma to 144 Ma.

The subduction of the Hikurangi Plateau beneath New Zealand and the southern part of the Kermadec Arc has resulted in large volumes of lava and a high density of volcanoes in the arc. The initial Hikurangi-Kermadec collision, however, occurred 250 km (160 mi) to the north where a missing piece of the Ontong Java-Hikurangi-Manihiki LIP has already been subducted.

Tonga Trench

The Tonga Trench is an oceanic trench located in the south-west Pacific Ocean. It is the deepest trench of the Southern Hemisphere and the second deepest on Earth. The fastest plate tectonic velocity on Earth occurs as the Pacific Plate is being subducted westward in the trench.

When the Apollo 13 mission was aborted in 1970 following an explosion in an oxygen tank, the radioisotope thermoelectric generator broke up in the atmosphere and the heat source plunged in or near the Tonga Trench. Atmospheric and oceanic monitoring indicate no release of nuclear fuel has occurred.

Wanganui Basin

The Wanganui Basin (also spelled Whanganui Basin) is an onshore-offshore basin on the North Island of New Zealand. The basin provides an important stratigraphic and palaeontological record for the late Neogene marine environment of New Zealand.



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