Seismic reflection measurements behind the Hikurangi convergent margin, southern North Island, New Zealand

Davey, F.J.

Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 89(1): 443-447

1987


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246x.1987.tb04444.x
Accession: 018352998

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Abstract
The active Australian-Pacific plate boundary passes through New Zealand. In the north, the Pacific plate subducts beneath the Australian plate with an accretionary wedge forming the eastern continental (Hikurangi) margin of the North island. The structure of the region behind the Hikurangi margin changes from the extensional back-arc basin under the central North Island to a postulated crustal downwarp beneath the southern North Island. A 100 km long multichannel seismic reflection profile was recorded across the region of crustal downwarp. The data show discontinuous coherent reflectors dipping westwards at the east of the profile, and east dipping reflectors at the west end, from depths of 9 to 15 s two way time. Simple hand migration of these events indicate that the east dipping reflectors, interpreted as the base of the Australian plate crust, abut against the west dipping reflectors which are interpreted as marking the top of the subducted Pacific plate. Detailed earthquake hypocentre locations in the area show a dipping zone of high seismicity, the top of which coincides closely with the west dipping events, thus supporting this interpretation.

Seismic reflection measurements behind the Hikurangi convergent margin, southern North Island, New Zealand