Story: Geology – overview
The land area of New Zealand is the relatively small part of the continent of Zealandia that is rising due to plate (tectonic) movement, or being built up by aggradation. This map shows the estimated or measured uplift rates in different parts of the country. Mountain ranges are rising the fastest, in excess of 5 millimetres per year. The greatest rate of uplift is on the western side of the Southern Alps. A few land areas are slowly subsiding, but most are being filled in by sediment carried by rivers.
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Source: Cartography by Carolyn Hume, GNS Science, based on maps by Harold Wellman (South Island) and Brad Pillans (North Island), with some generalisation.