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The Mid-Late Permian–Mid-Triassic Maitai Group is interpreted as the distal forearc basin of the SE Gondwana active continental margin. The basin initially received very coarse detritus (Upukerora Formation) from the recently emplaced, nearby Dun Mountain ophiolite and related oceanic-arc rocks. Early tectonic subsidence accommodated up to 1000 m of bioclastic gravity-flow deposits from an adjacent carbonate platform, together with terrigenous and volcanic arc-derived material (Wooded Peak Formation). Basin-levelling turbidites then accumulated, composed of mixed terrigenous and arc-derived igneous material, with bottom-current reworking (Tramway Formation). Latest Permian–earliest Triassic gravity-flow deposits (locally absent) are characterized by relatively basic volcanic material (Little Ben Formation). Overlying turbidites accumulated in a relatively oxygen-poor, deeper-water setting (Greville Formation). Fine-grained background sedimentation then switched to well-oxidized, with traction-current reworking (Waiua Formation). The overlying Early–Mid Triassic Stephens Subgroup included the accumulation of lenticular sandstone turbidites, channelized conglomerate, well-oxidized deep-sea mud and felsic tuff. Permian and Early Triassic marginal carbonate platforms collapsed and were emplaced as localized exotic blocks. Extrusive and intrusive clasts within channelized conglomerates (Snowdon Formation) were derived from the adjacent continental margin arc. The forearc basin was subsequently displaced to its present position, possibly with up to 3000 km of southwards translation.

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