New Zealand Demographics
New Zealand is situated inside the dramatic sounding “Ring of Fire”, a region which encircles the Pacific Ocean where the displacement of tectonic plates (large segments of the crust of the Earth) results in seismic and volcanic and activity. The Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates convene at New Zealand, and yet their activities are radically different below the 2 main islands.
The plates meet at the South Island in a predominantly sideways or lateral motion. This action produced the Southem Alps by folding and elevating oceanic residue.
However at the North Island. the Pacific plate folds below the other plate. This process of subduction has pushed volcanic action to the Earth’s surface. Evidence of science reveals that the North Island has had numerous large volcanic eruptions in the last thirty thousand years. Two significant eruptions that occurred twenty six years ago and almost a thousand years ago produced the deep cavern that is now known as Lake Taupo. The earlier eruption is thought to be one of the biggest in history.
Volcanic activity occurs up to this day in the central region of the island. Hot springs and geysers. which signify geothermal activity. exist all throughout the region. and seismic activities (earthquakes) occur often yet are usually moderate. Mount Egmont. also called Mount Taranaki (Maori), is a lone peak rising in the west most region of New Zealand’s North Island. This extinct volcano rises to a height of 2,518 meters (or 8.261 feet) and is one of several volcanoes found on the island.
In New Zealand’s North Island the north central region is a region of vigorous volcanism. Aside from the three active volcanoes. there are also geysers. such as the Lady Knox Geyser as well as mud pools and hot springs.
The landmass of New Zealand had once been part of Gondwanaland the ancient super-continent which also included Madagascar. Africa, Australia, India. South America. and Antarctica. The breaking up of Gondwanaland was caused by plate tectonics approximately a hundred and seventy million years ago in the Jurassic Period.
Until approximately eighty two million years ago in the Cretaceous Period, the landmass of New Zealand was still attached to Antarctica.
The tiny landmass subsequently broke off. drifted to the north. and was then cut off from the rest of the world. Approximately thirty five years ago. at the time of the Oligocene Epoch. large chunks of New Zealand was submerged, leaving maybe only twenty percent of the current area as dry land.
New Zealand’s land area. in the period of the ice ages thousands of years ago. was a lot bigger than it is today and the two main islands were linked as a single landmass when global sea levels were as much as a hundred and thirty five meters (or four hundred fifty feet) lower.
Zealandia, the New Zealand continent which is mostly submerged, is located uncomfortably across two moving parts of the surface of the planet which are the Australian and Pacific plates. The two movable plates are bumping each other at a glancing angle. Because of this. the submerged continent of New Zealand is crumpling to create the land that now protrudes above sea level.