Hikurangi Plateau

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Map of Zealandia showing Hikurangi Plateau

Hikurangi Plateau is an Early Cretaceous basaltic oceanic plateau[1] in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The portion of the plateau exposed on the seafloor has an area of 350,000 km2, and including the portions subducted beneath the North Island of New Zealand and the Chatham Rise its original area was 800,000 km2. Evidence suggests that the plateau was formed in the volcanic Greater Ontong Java Event 122 million years ago, along with the Ontong Java Plateau and the Manihiki Plateau.[2]

Hikurangi Plateau is cut by the Hikurangi Channel, a 2000 km abyssal channel that starts at Kaikoura and runs along the Hikurangi Trough as far as the Mahia Peninsula before crossing the plateau and ending in the South-west Pacific abyssal plain. [3]