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Cretaceous coals and coal measures onshore and offshore New Zealand record a period of great tectonic change in the region. Coal measures accumulated mainly within fault-controlled depressions resulting from a complex early rifting history during the breakup of eastern Gondwanaland. Lithofacies relationships and coal properties reflect a complex interplay between paleoenvironmental and contemporaneous tectonic influences.

Mid-Cretaceous terrestrial sediments up to 4,500 m thick accumulated in narrow fault-angle depressions interpreted as failed rifts. Fan breccias and conglomerates predominate, with minor fine-grained sediments and thin, uneconomic coal seams. Latest Cretaceous coal measures in the order of 1,000 m thick accumulated mainly as...

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