New Zealand Active Fault Model

Active fault traces are a surface expression of permanent deformation that accommodates the motion within and between adjacent tectonic plates. We present an updated national-scale model for active faulting in New Zealand, summarise the present understanding of fault kinematics in 15 tectonic domains, and undertake some brief kinematic analysis including comparison of fault slip rates with GPS velocities. The model contains 635 simplified faults with tabulated parameters of their attitude (dip and dip-direction) and kinematics (sense of movement and rake of slip vector); net slip rate; and a quality code. Fault density and slip rates are, as expected, highest along the central plate boundary zone, but the model is undoubtedly incomplete, particularly in rapidly eroding mountainous areas and submarine areas with limited data. The active fault data presented are of value to a range of kinematic, active fault and seismic hazard studies.


Cite as: Litchfield, N.J., Van Dissen, R., Sutherland, R., Barnes, P.M., Cox, S.C., Norris, R., Beavan, J., Langridge, R., Villamor, P., Berryman, K., Stirling, M., Nicol, A., Nodder, S., Lamarche, G., Barrell, D.J.A., Pettinga, J.R., Little, T., Pondard, N., Mountjoy, J.J., Clark, K., 2014, A model of active faulting in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 57 (1): 32-56. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.854256. (with data set available at DOI:

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Author GNS Science
Maintainer Email
Update frequency Irregular
Source Created 2020
Source Modified 2022-06-09T14:14:43
Language English
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[165.82031965, -47.63578359], [179.0039134, -47.63578359], [179.0039134, -33.72433966], [165.82031965, -33.72433966], [165.82031965, -47.63578359]]]}
Source Identifier b20b1429-8171-4f85-b4c7-2cc092e7844e
Dataset metadata created 10 August 2020, last updated 15 June 2022