Auckland

Geological Summary

Auckland QMAP map

The geology of Auckland varies markedly across the city although Mesozoic greywacke basement underlies throughout, exposed in the Hunua Ranges and some Hauraki Gulf islands. Overlying Miocene and older sedimentary rock is exposed in the central isthmus and North Shore, with Miocene andesite-dominated volcanic rocks in the Waitakere Ranges. Quaternary basalt volcanoes and deposits feature in southern Auckland, and younger volcanoes and deposits are prevalent in central Auckland. Low-lying areas, particularly South Auckland, are covered in Quaternary sediments.

Maps and Information

The Auckland urban and urban fringe areas are part of a current geological mapping initiative. An updated geological map of the South Auckland (Pukekohe) area is the first in a series of maps being developed/produced for the Auckland region.

Urban Maps
2022: Pukekohe Geological Map Product

The Pukekohe geological map product includes a geological map with an explanatory text, a geomorphological map and a 3D geological model with an explanatory text. 

3D geological model

The 3D geological model provides a generalised representation of the subsurface geology extending from the southern shoreline of Manukau Harbour to the lower Waikato River valley. The main features of this 3D geological model include a representation of the underlying block-faulted Mesozoic basement and basin geometry of the Pukekohe area, contacts and thicknesses of the Te Kuiti Group, Māui Supergroup (Waitematā/Waitākere groups), Ōtāhuhu Member (Takaanini Formation) and ‘undifferentiated Kaihu group’ with a depiction of the South Auckland Volcanic Field strata (Kerikeri Volcanic Group).

The 3D geological model is available and viewable using freely downloadable Leapfrog Viewer 3D visualisation software or as 2D and 3D  surfaces viewable using other 3D modelling and GIS software. These data can be downloaded from links included in the metadata associated with the Pukekohe 3D Geological Model. The explanatory text for the 3D geological model can be downloaded from the GNS Online Shop. 

Pukekohe 3D Geological Model

Perspective view of the 3D geological model of the Pukekohe area showing the geological units modelled. Vertical exaggeration is five times the horizontal scale.

Other Information
2001/2018: QMAP 1:250 000 geological map

For wider and more generalised geological context of the Auckland area, a 1:250 000 geological map was printed with accompanying explanatory text. Digital GIS and image versions of the map are available on DVD. The digital version has since been updated in a national GIS dataset at that nominal scale. The underlying GIS datasets have rich feature attributes.

  • Edbrooke, S.E. (compiler) 2001. Geology of the Auckland area. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences 1:250 000 geological map 3. Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited. 1 sheet + 74 p.
  • Heron, D.W. (custodian) 2018. Geological Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. GNS Science geological map 1 (2nd edition). Lower Hutt, New Zealand. GNS Science.

A geological map image can be downloaded or interrogated through the geological map application. For GIS users, the QMAP geological feature layers can be downloaded from GNS Science’s Web Map/Feature Service.

Auckland Volcano
1992: Geology of the Auckland Urban Area

The central city parts of Auckland are covered by a 1:50000 geological map. The map was subsequently digitised into a GIS dataset in the late 1990s although the accompanying feature attributes are comparatively sparse compared with the later QMAP regional geological mapping.

1976-1989: 1:63 360 geological maps

These are printed maps with limited accompanying text and there are no digital equivalents.

1989: Geology of the northern Auckland area (out of print)
  • Schofield, J.C. 1989. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Sheets Q10 & R10 Helensville and Whangaparaoa. Lower Hutt: New Zealand Geological Survey. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Q10 & R10. 2 folded maps + 1 booklet.
1983: Geology of western Auckland area 
  • Hayward, B.W. 1983. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Sheet Q11 Waitakere. Lower Hutt: New Zealand Geological Survey. Geological map of New Zealand 1:50,000 Q11. 1 folded map + 1 booklet.
1976: Geology of the eastern Auckland area
  • Schofield, J.C. 1976. Geological map of New Zealand 1:63,360 Sheet N48 Mangatawhiri. 1st ed. Wellington: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Geological map of New Zealand 1:63,360 N48. 1 folded map + booklet.

For GIS users, the layer NZL-Urban Auckland geological units based on an unpublished c. 2012 GNS Science compilation of the 1:50 000 and other unpublished maps can be downloaded from GNS Science’s Web Map Service.     

The 3D geological model[MR1] [JL2]  is available and viewable using freely downloadable Leapfrog Viewer 3D visualisation software or as 2D and 3D[JL3]  surfaces viewable using other 3D modelling and GIS software. The explanatory text [MR4] [JL5] for the 3D geological model can be downloaded from the GNS Online Shop.

 [MR1]Create link to model location on server

 [JL2]Links added here as provided by Dave H

 [JL3]I added these to put links to 2D and 3D outputs

 [MR4]Create link to GNS Online shop Pukekohe product

 [JL5]Added from link as provided by Maggie