Staff profiles

Nick MortimerGeologist


Petrology & Geochemistry

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I am interested in all aspects of the regional geology and tectonics of New Zealand, Zealandia and the SW Pacific Ocean. My main research tools are petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, geochronology, structural geology and GIS. I have contributed to several advances in New Zealand’s regional geology, including Otago Schist architecture, the Median Batholith, subdivision of greywacke terrane basement, long baseline evolution of volcanic arcs north of New Zealand, a holistic high-level stratigraphy of New Zealand rocks, and exploration and promotion of Earth’s eighth continent, Zealandia. I have a broad working knowledge of Zealandia’s igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary and tectonic makeup, and its 500 million year geological history. Consultancy work and outreach are an important part of my professional life at GNS Science.


  • BSc, Geology
  • PhD, Geology

Areas of expertise

  • Geology: Tectonics
  • Geology: Petrology
  • Technical: GIS
  • Technical: Outreach projects
  • Technical: Collection and data management
  • Geology: Marine Geology
  • Geology: Zealandia

Major Publications

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  • Mortimer, N.; Campbell, H.J.; Tulloch, A.J.; King, P.R.; Stagpoole, V.M.; Wood, R.A.; Rattenbury, M.S.; Sutherland, R.; Adams, C.J.; Collot, J.; Seton, M. 2017. Zealandia: Earth's hidden continent, GSA today 27(3): p. 27-35. DOI: 10.1130/GSATG321A.1.
  • Mortimer, N.; Rattenbury, M.S.; King, P.R.; Bland, K.J.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Bache, F.; Begg, J.G.; Campbell, H.J.; Cox, S.C.; Crampton, J.S.; Edbrooke, S.W.; Forsyth, P.J.; Johnston, M.R.; Jongens, R.; Lee, J.; Leonard, G.S.; Raine, J.I.; Skinner, D.N.B.; T 2014. High-level stratigraphic scheme for New Zealand rocks, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 57(4): p. 402-419. DOI: 10.1080/00288306.2014.946062.
  • Mortimer, N.; Gans, P.B.; Palin, J.M.; Meffre, S.; Herzer, R.H.; Skinner, D.N.B. 2010. Location and migration of Miocene-Quaternary volcanic arcs in the SW Pacific region, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 190(1/2): p. 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2009.02.017.
  • Mortimer, N.; Hoernle, K.; Hauff, F.; Palin, J.M.; Dunlap, W.J.; Werner, R.; Faure, K. 2006. New constraints on the age and evolution of the Wishbone Ridge, southwest Pacific Cretaceous microplates, and Zealandia-West Antarctica breakup, Geology 34(3): p. 185-189.
  • Mortimer, N. 2004. New Zealand's geological foundations, Gondwana Research 7(1): p. 261-272. DOI: 10.1016/S1342-937X(05)70324-5.
  • Mortimer, N.; Tulloch, A.J.; Spark, R.N.; Walker, N.W.; Ladley, E.; Allibone, A.H.; Kimbrough, D.L. 1999. Overview of the Median Batholith, New Zealand : a new interpretation of the geology of the Median Tectonic Zone and adjacent rocks, Gondwana 10 : event stratigraphy of Gondwana : proceedings volume 1 : p. 257-268.
  • Mortimer, N. 1993. Jurassic tectonic history of the Otago schist, New Zealand, Tectonics 12(1): p. 237-244.
  • Mortimer, N. 1986. Late Triassic, arc-related, potassic igneous rocks in the North American Cordillera, Geology 14(12): p. 1035-1038.

External Profiles