Challenger plateau

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Topographic map of Zealandia with the Challenger Plateau west of New Zealand

The Challenger Plateau is a sub- sea ​​level mountain plateau west of New Zealand . It is part of the 4.9 million square kilometer and 94% below sea level area that scientists refer to as Zealandia and that is being promoted as a continent .


The Challenger Plateau is located directly west of New Zealand in front of the continental shelf of the two main islands, which is around 60 km wide off Taranaki and varies between 20 km and 100 km off the west coast of the South Island. The plateau, which roughly has the shape of a triangle, is around 400 km long in east-west direction and measures around 630 km to the south ( geographic coordinates 37 ° 56 'S, 168 ° 00' E , 39 ° 00 'S, 171 ° 47 'E , 43 ° 30' S, 168 ° 05 'E ). In the north of the plateau the New Caledonia Trough and the Aotea Basin join, in the east and south of the continental shelf of the New Zealand main islands and in the west the Lord Howe Rise and the deep sea of ​​the Tasman Sea . The total area of ​​the plateau covers around 280,000 km². The water depths vary between 500 and 1500 m.


The base rock of the continental crust consists of granite and greywacke . The sediments overlying the crust vary in thickness between 0 and 3000 m.


Individual evidence

  1. Mortimer et al. 10 co-authors: Zealandia: Earth's Hidden Continent . In: GSA Today . 2017, p.  1 .
  2. Coordinates and longitudes of the Challenger Plateau were determined by Google Earth .
  3. a b Challenger Plateau . Geoscience Australia , accessed March 19, 2017 .
  4. ^ Mortimer, Campbell : Zealandia - Our Continent Revealed . 2014, p.  89 .