We already have detailed maps of Earth’s new continent: Zealand

We already have detailed maps of Earth's new continent: Zealand

With 5 million square kilometers, with a small part emerging today and mostly under the South Pacific, this old continent called Zealand can already be explored through detailed maps .

The maps, produced by GNS Science , consist of two charts and an interactive exploration tool covering bathymetry (shape of the ocean floor) and tectonic origins.

The continent of Zealand , also called Zealandia, Tasmantis or the continent of New Zealand, is a nearly submerged continent that sank after separating from Asia, 60-85 million years ago, and from Antarctica 130-185 million years ago. Most of it (about 90%) ended up submerging about 23 million years ago under the Pacific Ocean.


Two maps and a website published by GNS Science this week give insight into the incredible forces that shaped New Zealand and the mostly submerged continent beneath our feet .

The authors of the maps are Nick Mortimer, Belinda Smith Lyttle and Jenny Black. The project team for the TEZ website is Phil Scadden, Andrew Boyes, Vaughan Stagpoole, and Jenny Black.

Tectonic map

Tectonic Map

The colors show the continental crust in shades of red, orange, yellow and brown and the oceanic crust in blue. The arc bark of the island is pink and the bark of the large igneous province is green. (A large igneous province is a large accumulation of igneous rocks resulting from magma traveling through the crust to the surface.)