NZSM Online

Get TurboNote+ desktop sticky notes

Interclue makes your browsing smarter, faster, more informative

SciTech Daily Review

Webcentre Ltd: Web solutions, Smart software, Quality graphics


Meteoritic Harbour?

Seeing the movie Jurassic Park recently brought back to mind an idea I had some thirty-odd years ago: was the Hauraki Gulf created by a meteorite impact millions of years ago?

If you look at a map of a suitable scale, it does look vaguely crater-like, with its floor sunk beneath the sea. Also, all Auckland's volcanoes are at its southern boundary, suggesting any such meteorite may have struck from the north. (All meteorite impacts produce circular craters whatever angle they strike from, except the very shallowest.)

Some research I recall doing shortly after I had the idea suggested that it is unlikely to have been the one currently thought to have done for the dinosaurs, since this part of New Zealand apparently wasn't above sea level at that time. But now I wonder if it might not have been that impact that raised it. Although a convincing candidate crater for the ending of the Jurassic has now been found in the Caribbean, it would be nice to think...

Ivan Millett, Takapuna

In response to our query, Victoria University geologist John Gamble said, " the best of my knowledge, the Auckland volcanic field is not related to any impact by an extraterrestrial body. Rather, the field is an excellent example of an intra-plate volcanic field produced by extension of the lithosphere."