Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

New Zealand

  • Terry Healy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_243


The diversity of coastal geomorphology and sedimentary deposits on the 18,000 km New Zealand coastline has evolved from a combination of geological structure, tectonic and seismic history, lithology, a mid-latitude oceanic setting for wave and tidal processes, Pleistocene events, and climatic influences.
  1. 1.

    Geological structure and lithology. A series of lineal axial ranges comprise the essential structural backbone of New Zealand. In the North Island these consist of lightly metamorphosed and intensely jointed Mesozoic greywacke, and in the South Island, of greywackes and metamorphosed Palaeozoic schists of Otago and the alpine fault zone through to gneiss and granodiorites of south Westland. On-lapping the axial ranges are ­younger Tertiary rocks, predominantly soft clay-rich siltstones and some limestones, while ancient volcanic mounds punctuate the landscape. In the central North Island the active Taupo Volcanic Zone stretches from Lake Taupo to beyond the Bay of...


Wave Climate Intertidal Flat Dune Ridge Cliffed Coast Taupo Volcanic Zone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Berryman K, Hull A (2003) Tectonic controls on late quaternary shorelines: A review and prospects for future research. In: Goff J, Nichol S, Rouse H (eds) The New Zealand Coast. Palmerston North, Dunmore Press, pp 25–58Google Scholar
  2. Cotton CA (1942) Geomorphology. An introduction to the study of landforms. Whitcombe and Tombs, Christchurch, 505 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Cotton CA (1974) Bold coasts. Reed, Wellington, New Zealand 354 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Healy TR, Cole R, De Lange W (1996) Geomorphology and ecology of New Zealand shallow estuaries and shorelines. In: Nordstrom KF, Roman CT (eds) Estuarine shores: evolution, environments and human alterations. New York, Wiley, pp 115–154Google Scholar
  5. Healy T, Kirk RM (1982) Coasts. In: Soons JM, Selby MJ (eds) Landforms of New Zealand. Longman Paul, Auckland, pp 81–102Google Scholar
  6. Hume TM, Bell RG, De Lange WP, Healy TR, Hicks DM, Kirk RM (1992) Coastal oceanography and sedimentology in New Zealand, 1967–91. N Z J Mar Freshwater Res 26:1–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hume TM (2003) Estuaries and tidal inlets. In: Goff J, Nichol S, Rouse H (eds) The New Zealand Coast. Palmerston North, Dunmore Press, pp 191–214Google Scholar
  8. Kirk RM (1980) Mixed sand and gravel beaches: morphology, processes and sediment. Prog Phys Geog 4:189–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Moon V, Healy T (1994) Mechanisms of coastal cliff retreat and hazard zone delineation in soft flysch deposits. J Coastal Res 10:663–680Google Scholar
  10. Pullar AS, Selby MJ (1971) Coastal progradation of Rangitaiki Plains. N Z J Sci 14:419–434Google Scholar
  11. Schofield JC (1970) Coastal sands of Northland and Auckland. N Z J Geol Geophys 13:767–824Google Scholar
  12. Shulmeister J, Rouse H (2003) Gravel and mixed sand and gravel systems. In: Goff J, Nichol S, Rouse H (eds) The New Zealand Coast. Dunmore Press, Palmerston North, pp 143–162Google Scholar
  13. Walters RA, Goring DG, Bell RG (2001) Ocean tides around New Zealand. N Z J Mar Freshwater Res 35:567–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terry Healy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Waikato New Zealand