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Departments & Programs


East Coast Basin, New Zealand

Outcrop of Hikuwai Sandstone in Tolaga Bay, NZ

Outcrop of Hikuwai Sandstone in Tolaga Bay, NZ

The Raukumara Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand is the northernmost area of the East Coast Basin and contains numerous deep-water sequences deposited within an active forearc basin beginning in the Early Miocene. Cliff outcrops along the coast enable evolutional and architectural studies of deep-water systems, and provide useful analogies for forearc and piggy-back basin deposition. The East Coast Basin is part of an active petroleum system although has never been substantially developed. Recent interest has prompted an extensive 2D seismic survey by Crown Minerals, vastly improving the formerly spotty data set of the region.

Blair Burgreen (2014 PhD), studied the deep-water deposits of the Hikuwai Sandstone located in the northeastern onshore portion of the East Coast Basin. The sandstone outcrops along the coast in ~200m high cliff exposures, providing an excellent opportunity for architectural analysis. The goal of this study is to observe vertical and horizontal changes in the geometry and stratigraphy in order to develop a conceptual depositional model for basin fill in a tectonically active forearc setting.