Volcanoes in the New Zealand Region


  Egmont                        Ngauruhoe                       Pukekaikoire 
  Raoul Island                  Ruapehu
  Ruapehu Crater Lake           Tangiwai Disaster
  Tarawera                      Tongariro                     
  White Island

New Zealand has been greatly affected by its position on the edge of two tectonic plates. The boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indian/ Australian Plate bisects the north and south islands of New Zealand, resulting in extensive mountain range uplift and volcanic activity. To the north of New Zealand, the Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the IndianŠAustralian Plate. This has formed the Tonga/Kermadec Trench. To the south of New Zealand,subduction is taking place in the opposite direction. Here, the Pacific Plate is overriding the Indian/Australian Plate forming the Puysegur Trench. A line with black triangles is the symbol geologists use for subduction zones. The triangles are on the overriding plate. The Alpine fault running through the south island of New Zealand connects these two subduction zones. The Alpine fault, like the San Andres fault of California, is a transform fault. At tectonic boundaries made of transform faults the two plates slide laterally past each other.

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