Rotorua Urban Geology

Geological Summary

The geology of the city of Rotorua is either volcanic or sediments largely derived and reworked from volcanism during the mid to late Quaternary. Rhyolite lava and ignimbrite form some of the more elevated areas, and most of the city is built on alluvial and lake deposits, interspersed with many volcanic ash layers.

Maps and Information

There are no geological mapping projects underway or imminent in the Rotorua area. Previously completed maps include:

2010/2018: QMAP 1:250 000 geological map

For wider and more generalised geological context of the Rotorua 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.

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).

2002: Okataina 1:50 000 geological map

The eastern part of the city area of Rotorua is covered by a 1:50 000 geological map published(external link) in 2002 (Nairn 2002).

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

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