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This resulted in uplift of central Westland and produced the majestic range of the Southern Alps, with its steep, straight western front the Alpine Fault.
Between 23 and 10 million years ago the western side of the Alpine Fault was moving northeast relative to the eastern side at a rate of between 1-10 cm per year.
Two main groups of rocks can be identified from this period: the Torlesse supergroup on the east mostly made up of greywacke with only very few fossils.
And the Murihiku supergroup in the west, with a good series of fossils, with sediments rich in volcanic debris.
Sometimes the land uplifted only to be worn down again and be pushed back into the sea. The Tuhua Orogeny, late Devonian to Carboniferous period (about 370 to 330 million years ago) The long period of sedimentation ended with a period of pressure and uplift.
The subduction of the Pacific plate caused much volcanism in the North Island, starting initially in Northland in the early Miocene and moving south over time until it reached its present position along the Taupo Volcanic Zone. By that time the sea floor spreading had stopped and the land had begun to sink, resulting in characteristic marine deposits: calcareous and fossiliferous, with common limestone.At the end of this period a new rift valley formed between Australia and Antarctica and the sea floor spreading still continues. The Kaikoura Orogeny, Miocene to Quaternary period (24 million years ago to modern) Due to the new spreading ridge between Antarctica and Australia there was a build up of strain in the southwest Pacific crust that led to vertical and transcurrent fault movements.Under great heat and pressure, rocks were completely changed and regrouped into new minerals.Sandstones and mudstones, for example, became schist, known for the parallel layering of minerals like mica, giving it a shimmering, silvery surface.