Dunedin urban geology

Geological Summary

The geological substrate of Dunedin is varied, with most of the urban area founded on Miocene basalt and much of southwest Dunedin on Mesozoic schist or Late Cretaceous-Miocene sandstone and mudstone. Mosgiel is built largely on Late Quaternary alluvial sediment.

Maps and Information

The Dunedin urban and urban fringe areas are part of a current geological mapping initiative that will complete a new geological map, landslide map and interpreted drill hole dataset in 2018. Previously completed maps include:

1996/2018: QMAP 1:250 000 geological map

For wider and more generalised geological context of the Dunedin area, a 1:250 000 geological map was printed with an accompanying an 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.

  • Bishop, D.G.; Turnbull, I.M. (compilers) 1996. Geology of the Dunedin area(external link). Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences 1:250 000 geological map 21. Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited. 52 p. + 1 sheet.
  • Heron, D.W. (custodian) 2018. Geological Map of New Zealand 1:250 000(external link). GNS Science geological map 1 (2nd edition). Lower Hutt, New Zealand. GNS Science.

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

1990: 1:25 000 geological map of southwest Dunedin
  • McKellar, I.C. 1990. Southwest Dunedin urban area(external link). Scale 1:25,000. Miscellaneous series map / New Zealand Geological Survey 22. Lower Hutt, New Zealand. New Zealand Geological Survey. 1 sheet + 1 booklet.
1968: 1:50 000 geological map of Dunedin
  • Benson, W.N. 1968. The W.N. Benson geological map of Dunedin district(external link). Miscellaneous series map, scale 1:50,000 / New Zealand Geological Survey 1. Wellington, New Zealand. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. 1 sheet + 1 booklet.

For GIS users, the layer NZL-Urban Dunedin geological units can be downloaded from GNS Science’s Web Map Service(external link)

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