Evolution of the Pacific-Australian plate boundary, the Macquarie Ridge Complex, south of New Zealand

Since 40 Ma, this plate boundary has evolved from a paleo-spreading ridge to the present day transpressional transform boundary and locally is undergoing incipient subduction. We are investigating how strain was partitioned during the evolution of this boundary and the processes that accommodated this deformation, including how magmatism shut off.

Excellent marine geophysical data sets (bathymetry, side scan sonar, gravity, magnetics, seismic reflection) along the length of the boundary provide a complete record of the seafloor evolution. A rare sliver of the oceanic crust and uppermost mantle has been uplifted in situ and is exposed on Macquarie Island. The island preserves a ridge-transform corner structure, faults and volcanism related to formation of the ocean floor, and recent transform-related faults.

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