Rowan, C.J., Roberts, A.P. and Rait, G.J.
Relocation of the tectonic boundary between the Raukumara and Wairoa Domains (East Coast, North Island, New Zealand): implications for the rotation history of the Hikurangi margin
New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 48, (1), .
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Paleomagnetic studies of Neogene marine sediments have documented large clockwise rotations of the Hikurangi margin (East Coast, North Island) during the Neogene, with the exception of the Raukumara Peninsula, which is unrotated with respect to the Australian plate. Immediately south of the Raukumara Peninsula, the Wairoa region has been rotated clockwise by 50–60°; the boundary between these domains is associated with a change in regional structural trends. However, a declination of 70 ± 14° reported from Otaian (19–22 Ma) sediments in the Rakauroa area is located to the north of this change. Characterisation of how differential rotations have been accommodated along the Hikurangi margin has been frustrated by this apparent mismatch between paleomagnetic and structural data. Paleomagnetic analysis of two new Rakauroa localities has yielded declinations of 16 ± 7° and 19 ± 9°, consistent with expected values for the Australian plate. This region is therefore not part of the Wairoa Domain. A strong viscous magnetic overprint was observed in many samples, the incomplete removal of which resulted in the misidentification of a large declination anomaly in the previous study. The paleomagnetically defined boundary between the Raukumara and Wairoa Domains now coincides with the area where regional structural trends alter. Reassignment of the Rakauroa area to the Raukumara Domain also results in a revised rotation history for the Wairoa Domain, suggesting rotation rates of 4–5°/m.y. since the late Miocene (5–10 Ma), and potentially no earlier rotation. No reliable record of early and middle Miocene vertical axis rotation on the Hikurangi margin now exists north of Marlborough; further studies are required to properly constrain the rotation history for this time interval.
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