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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Sequences, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology: Surface and Subsurface — Memoir 15, 1988
Pages 37-48
Sequence Stratigraphy

A Review of Cretaceous-Cenozoic Sedimentation and Tectonics, East Coast, South Island, New Zealand

G. H. Browne, B. D. Field


The Canterbury region, in the eastern central part of the South Island of New Zealand, is a mid-Cretaceous to Tertiary depositional centre in which predominantly clastic sediments accumulated. Carbonates were extensive in the Eocene and Oligocene, and volcanics in the mid-Cretaceous and Paleocene to Miocene. Facies distributions from the mid-Cretaceous to Recent show a close relationship with the evolving tectonic regime. There are many similarities with, and some departures from the worldwide, eustatic, sea-level curve for the Cretaceous-Cenozoic. An unconformity near the end of the Early Oligocene is particularly extensive in the region and appears to correlate with the eustatic sea-level fall at 30 Ma. Subsidence and sedimentation rates show similar trends, and are related to the tectonics. They all show maxima in the Cretaceous and from the mid-Tertiary to Recent. This is consistent with plate tectonics models for the breakup of eastern Gondwanaland in the Cretaceous, Tertiary convergence between the Indian-Australian and Pacific plates, strike-slip movement on the Alpine Fault from the mid-Tertiary, and oblique-slip movement on the Alpine Fault in the late Tertiary.

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