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The tectonic evolution of the South Island of New Zealand records the consequences of a transition from nearly translational to transpressional plate motions since the Late Miocene. Although it is clear how that transition was accommodated in the upper crust—primarily through the development of the Southern Alps orogen—how the lithospheric system responds to this change in plate kinematics is unclear. Coupling kinematic and deformational modeling with an analysis of the existing seismic data that images the deformational fabric in the lithospheric mantle leads me to propose that a substantial amount of the plate boundary strain is accommodated by a reorientation...

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