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Regional Geological Mapping

Image - GNS Science

Aeromagnetic image of Wairakei

Regional geological mapping refers to more general scales ranging from 1:50 000 to 1:10 000 000. The QMAP 1:250 000 Geological Map of New Zealand, completed in 2012, is a regional scale geological map series covering the country but there are good reasons to undertake more detailed geological mapping of some areas.

Resource Geological Mapping
Geological maps provide important information in areas of proven or potential geological resources such as minerals, coal, petroleum, groundwater and geothermal energy. New geological mapping is underway in the Otago, West Coast and Northland resource areas where high quality airborne geophysics datasets have become available. The maps assist with making decisions around resource exploration and management.

As part New Zealand’s obligations to its offshore territories, there is on-going geological work in the Ross Dependency, Antarctica. New Zealand has been prominent in Antarctic geology since the late 1950s. Geological mapping has been a major focus and this continues with the recent publication of the 1:250 000 Geological Map of Southern Victoria Land. Significant gains in understanding the glacial geology have been made through geological mapping, and this information is contributing to research into Antarctic glacial dynamics in response to changing climatic conditions. Current projects are characterising the regional geology through geological mapping and glacial geology.

Image - GNS Science

Mt Ruapehu, Southern slopes

Towards the conclusion of the QMAP project, it became apparent that a new detailed geological map of Tongariro National Park, and a more volcanic-focussed geological map of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, would be important contributions to understanding volcanic eruptive activity in the central North Island. The Tongariro National Park geological mapping is revealing complex interplay between competing process of glacial erosion and volcano growth on Mt Ruapehu and the other centres. This geological map is scheduled for completion in 2015.