New Zealand straddles the boundary
between the Pacific and
Indian-Australian plates. To the
north of New Zealand and beneath
the eastern part of North Island, the
thin, dense, Pacific plate moves down beneath the thicker, lighter
Indian-Australian plate
(subduction); within the South
Island the plate margin is marked by
the Alpine Fault and here the plates
rub past each other horizontally;
while south of New Zealand the
Indian-Australian plate is forced
below the Pacific plate. This image
shows a coast of Antarctica in white.

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