New posters reveal dynamic seafloor

Three new posters reveal the seafloor of the Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour in high resolution detail for the first time. These posters are the product of recent sophisticated seafloor mapping combined with expert marine geological knowledge acquired over decades. They are the culmination of an exceptional collaborative effort among NIWA researchers.

The three posters are:

Beneath the waves: Wellington Harbour

This informative poster was produced from the first ever multibeam mapping survey of the Wellington Harbour, supported by funding from the Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council. The survey collected nearly 6 billion high frequency soundings to map water depth and seafloor substrate in the entire harbour. This revealed many details around the port, marinas, and Hutt River mouth, the South Seas ship wreck, freshwater springs, faults, and sediment patterns produced by the action of storm waves and tidal currents on fine sediments.

The Dynamic Seabed of Cook Strait

The poster illustrates the processes that shape the dynamic seabed of Cook Strait, bringing together three decades of research by marine scientists. It vividly depicts seafloor features with graphics created from actual sonar data, including:

· major tectonic faults that cross the Strait, with their accompanying earthquake and tsunami hazards

· 150 or so giant underwater landslides, formed over thousands of years, on the flanks of deep submarine canyons

· seafloor scouring and sediment transport caused by strong tidal currents.

Cook Strait a high resolution seafloor map, suitable for framing.

NIWA CEO John Morgan presented the Cook Strait poster, along with NIWA posters Undersea New Zealand and Discovering the Ocean Floor, to Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

View and order the posters online

Media release: NIWA reveals seabed treasures

Research subject: BathymetryCoastsGeology