Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


New map reveals New Zealand’s seafloor in stunning detail


New map reveals New Zealand’s seafloor in stunning detail

NIWA’s new Undersea New Zealand map provides a unique insight into the shape of the seafloor in one of the world’s most extensive marine jurisdictions.

More than 90 per cent of New Zealand’s continental mass is underwater. We have one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones and Extended Continental Shelf in the world - more than 570 million hectares of diverse marine environment, 21 times the size of our land mass.

NIWA’s ocean geologist Dr Helen Neil says, “This latest map is an asset for all New Zealanders. It’s for the person walking down the street that is really fascinated by the environment they live in, and it will also help a range of sectors understand more about our extensive marine environment. It shows in never-before-seen detail the marine realm that surrounds us.”

“New Zealand sits across a plate boundary, resulting in a diverse seascape of ridges, volcanoes, plateaux, canyons and seamounts.

“Recent technological advances mean we can now map the seabed in detail approaching that of terrestrial (land) mapping,” says Dr Neil.

The map is an updated version of the Undersea New Zealand map published in 1997. This year’s version has been created using the latest available scientific data, and is also viewable in 3D.

The updated version shows the “texture” of the seafloor and has more than 20 times the resolution of the old map. It is generated from digital elevation models using multibeam data, combined with traditional bathymetric data that reveal many, previously hidden, features.

The new map uses some 1.5 million square kilometres of multibeam coverage, with over a third of this mapped by NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa.

There are numerous areas on this new map showing more detailed information. These include the West Coast, the Bounty Trough and the Hikurangi Channels. These were represented as simple curves on the original map, but are now mapped in detail.

“The new detail shows the abundance of sinuous canyons and channels that slice through the continental margin, allowing sediment from the land to flow into the deep ocean, both west and east of New Zealand.

“The Kermadec Trench is formed by the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Indo-Australian Plate. It runs for over a thousand kilometres and, in some places, is over 10,000 metres deep. It is the deepest area within New Zealand waters,” says Dr Neil.

The new map illustrates the structure in that area. “You can see these folded ridges of sediment, and can imagine it being scraped off as one plate goes under another,” says Dr Neil.

There is a lot more detail of seamounts in areas like the Havre Trough, Louisville Seamount Chain, Antipodes Islands and along Chatham Rise.

“While seamounts can have similar shapes, detailed mapping highlights the potentially diverse nature of the habitats on these features,” says Dr Neil.

The Undersea New Zealand map is a culmination of NIWA’s geological, oceanographic, and fisheries research, and is created from NIWA’s database of high-resolution seafloor imagery from around New Zealand. It also incorporates significant national and worldwide data sets.

Maps like these produce substantial benefit for all New Zealanders and for all users of the marine environment, revealing potential for fisheries, environmental management, conservation, hazard mitigation, and energy and mineral opportunities.

The chart will be publically available from Monday 26 November. For more information visit: www.niwa.co.nz/publications/posters.

Dr Helen Neil is a keynote speaker at the Geosciences New Zealand Conference, being held in Hamilton from 26-28 November. Her talk is on Monday 26 November at 1.30pm.



Caption
Undersea New Zealand, a high resolution image of the complex and diverse marine realm around New Zealand.

Undersea New Zealand provides a unique insight into the shape of the seafloor within one of the world’s most extensive deepwater jurisdictions. New Zealand straddles an active plate margin, creating a highly complex and diverse seascape of submarine trenches, underwater volcanoes, active submarine canyons and quiescent broad plateaux.

Photo credit NIWA
Notes Copyright 2012 NIWA

Other information about this item:
https://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/oceans/common-questions/all/seafloor-mapping
https://www.niwa.co.nz/our-services/instruments/instruments/em300

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news