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New Zealand's Sedimentary Basins

Map of New Zealand's sedimentary basins (2011). Image from Mike Isaac, GNS Science.

Map of New Zealand's sedimentary basins (2011). Image from Mike Issac, GNS Science.

New Zealand's main oil, gas and coal resources are contained in onshore and offshore sedimentary basins. These Cretaceous-Cenozoic basins cover about 1.7 million square kilometres.

A sedimentary basin is an area where the Earth’s crust has subsided (sunk) and a thick layer of sediment has accumulated over millions of years.

Examples of active sedimentary basins include inland river valleys, lakes, gravel outwash plains and the undersea continental margins.