Origin of the Northland Ophiolite, northern New Zealand: Discussion of new data and reassessment of the model

Scott A. Whattam, John G. Malpas, Jason R. Ali, Ian E M Smith, Ching Hua Lo

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19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses new results from the Northland Ophiolite in northern New Zealand that indicate that it formed in a supra-subduction zone setting, c. 26-29 m.y. ago, and very near to its late Oligocene obduction site. This is in contrast to previous studies which have suggested that the ophiolite is a far-travelled igneous Cretaceous-Paleocene terrane. Cretaceous rocks formerly mapped as part of the ophiolite are minor and represent an autochthonous Late Cretaceous-Paleocene volcanic arc. The tectonic setting, age, and location of formation suggest that the ophiolite formed as part of the southernmost South Fiji Basin crust. Obduction of the Northland Ophiolite initiated subduction and volcanism resulting in the development of the Northland volcanic arc during the early Miocene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sep 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Northland Ophiolite
  • Oligocene
  • Southwest Pacific
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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