With 5 million square kilometers, with a small part now emerged and mostly under the South Pacific, this old continent called Zealand can already be explored through detailed maps.
The maps, produced by GNS Science, consist of two charts and an interactive exploration tool covering bathymetry (ocean floor shape) and tectonic origins.
The continent of Zealand, also called Zealandia, Tasmantis or the continent of New Zealand, is a nearly submerged continent that sank after separating from Asia 60-85 million years ago, and from Antarctica 130-185 million years ago. Most (about 90%) had just submerged approximately 23 million years ago in the Pacific Ocean.
Two maps and a website released by GNS Science this week give insight into the incredible forces that shaped New Zealand and the largely submerged continent under our feet.
The authors of the maps are Nick Mortimer, Belinda Smith Lyttle and Jenny Black. The project team for the TEZ website are Phil Scadden, Andrew Boyes, Vaughan Stagpoole and Jenny Black.
The colors show the continental crust in shades of red, orange, yellow and brown and blue oceanic crust. The arch bark of the island is pink and the bark of the large igneous province is green. (A large igneous province is a large accumulation of igneous rocks resulting from magma traveling through the crust to the surface.)