Several off-shore volcano-plutonic complexes are imaged in detail in the Parihaka 3D seismic survey in the Taranaki Basin of New Zealand. Three intrusions were analyzed for this study. Part of the Mohakatino Volcanic Centre (15 to 1.6 Ma), these intrusions have steep sides, no resolvable base reflectors, no internal stratification or structure, and they exhibit doming and faulting in the sedimentary strata above the intrusions. Deformation along the sides is dominated by highly attenuated, dipping strata with dips of 45° or higher that decrease rapidly away from the intrusions. Doming extends several hundred meters from the margins and produced many high-angle normal faults and thinned strata. The intrusions lie near normal faults with the Northern Intrusion lying directly adjacent to a segment of the Parihaka Fault. The Central Intrusion has localized normal faults cutting a graben in the area directly above the intrusion and extending in a NE-SW direction away from it. The Western Intrusion is near the western edge of the Parihaka 3D dataset and is not situated directly adjacent to extensional faults.Two distinct zones of intrusion-related faults developed around both the Northern and Central Intrusions representing two different stress regimes present during emplacement, a local stress field created by the intrusions during emplacement and the regional stress field. The deeper zones contain short radial faults that extend away from the intrusion in all directions, representing a local stress field. The shallower faults have a radial pattern above the apex of each intrusion, but farther from it, they follow the regional stress field and trend NE. Using our techniques to interpret radial faulting above both intrusions and the principal of cross-cutting relations, timing of emplacement for these intrusions are 3.5 Ma for the Northern Intrusion and between 5 and 4 Ma for the Central and Western Intrusions.Observed space-making mechanisms for the Northern and Central Intrusions include doming (~16% and 11%, respectively), thinning and extension of roof strata (~4% for both), and extension within the basin itself (29% and 12%). Stoping and floor subsidence may have occurred, but are not visible in the seismic images. Magmatic extension may have played a significant role in emplacement.Several gas-rich zones are also imaged within the seismic data near the sea-floor. They appear as areas of acoustic impedance reversal compared to surrounding sedimentary strata and have a reversal of amplitude when compared to the sea floor. The gas in these zones is either biogenic or sourced from deeper reservoirs cut by normal faults.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Geological Sciences



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Taranaki Basin, New Zealand, pluton emplacement, 3D seismic, igneous intrusion



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