A Tour of New Zealand's Geology Descriptive Essay

A Tour of New Zealand's Geology
A description of the unique geologic features of the island country of New Zealand. Focus is on the active volcanic areas of the country's North Island.
# 145076 | 1,672 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2000 | US

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In this article, the writer explains that the islands of New Zealand lie at a subduction zone between the Pacific plate and the Indian-Australian plate. This location on the unstable edge of the tectonic plates, part of the Pacific Ocean's "Ring of Fire", has resulted in an active geological history and present. Surrounded on all sides by undersea ridges and trenches, faults crisscross both islands. The writer discusses that these major Pacific fault lines account for volcanic activity, frequent earthquakes, glaciers and a mountain range that stretches almost uninterrupted from Milford Sound at the bottom of the South Island to Cape Reinga at the uppermost tip of the North Island. This paper includes descriptions of the most dramatic examples of geothermal activity around the country.

From the Paper:

"Earthquakes are another manifestation of the collision of the Pacific tectonic plate and the Indian-Australian tectonic plate. On average, 14,000 earthquakes are seismographically recorded in the New Zealand area each year. Of these, 100 to 150 are large enough to be felt. Since 1855, there have been fourteen earthquakes recorded that registered over 7.0 on the Richter scale. According to The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences web site, to the south of New Zealand the Australian plate is being forced under the Pacific plate. Under the South Island, the two plates push past each other sideways, and east of the North Island the Pacific plate is being forced under the Australian plate.
"In Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, earthquakes thrust land upward more than five feet in 1848 and 1855, creating a peninsula out of an island. The area lies directly across on of the most active fault lines on the North Island. In 1931 an earthquake registering 7.9 on the Richter scale struck Hawkes Bay, destroying almost the entire town of Napier and causing damage along most of the coast. Two hundred fifty-eight people were killed and tens of thousands were left homeless."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Fox, Mary Virginia.New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud. Chicago: Enchantment Press, 1991.
  • Hanbury-Tenison, Robin Fragile Eden - A Ride Through New Zealand. Boston: Salem House Publishers, 1989.
  • Hansen, Elizabeth. New Zealand. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1995.
  • http://www.gns.zri.nz/earthact/index.html Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Ltd.
  • http://www.geus.demon.nl/newzealand/nz/landscap.htm Landscape - New Zealand

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

A Tour of New Zealand's Geology (2010, October 24) Retrieved June 10, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/a-tour-of-new-zealand-geology-145076/

MLA Format

"A Tour of New Zealand's Geology" 24 October 2010. Web. 10 June. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/a-tour-of-new-zealand-geology-145076/>