A Quaternary uplift record for the Auckland region, North Island, New Zealand, based on marine and fluvial terraces

L. Claessens, A. Veldkamp, E.M. ten Broeke, H. Vloemans

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Marine and fluvial terrace sequences near the Waitakere Ranges on the North Island of New Zealand have been surveyed, yielding an inventory of 13 fluvial and 12 marine terrace levels. Based on sparse tephra age control and correlation with the global palaeoclimatic record, rates of regional Quaternary uplift have been reconstructed. Between 1000 ka and 345 ka the time-averaged uplift rate was 0.072 mm a¿1, between 345 ka and 50 ka it increased to 0.278 mm a¿1, accelerating to 0.42 mm a¿1 since 50 ka. The fluvial terrace sequence did not yield clear sedimentary records or other datable material. However, although others have disputed the existence of marine terraces in this study region, a pattern of accelerating regional uplift, superimposed onto glacio-eustatic sea-level changes, is substantiated as the only possible mechanism for maintaining the considerable relief and the active denudation processes inland. The observed uplift is similar to that in other regions where the uplift has been attributed to coupling between surface processes and lower-crustal flow, making this a likely mechanism in the North Island of New Zealand. Regarding the fluvial terrace sequence, the proposed general model is of an actively incising river, carving out on average one strath terrace every ~ 16,000 years. The incision phases are reactivated by sea-level lowering and interrupted by net aggradation events due to landslides triggered by cyclones and/or fires within the catchment; volcanic ash falls also cause transient increases in sediment supply
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-394
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • last glacial maximum
  • taupo volcanic zone
  • papua-new-guinea
  • environmental-change
  • river terraces
  • wanganui basin
  • pleistocene marine
  • surface processes
  • hikurangi margin
  • silicic tephras


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