Digging into the Alpine Fault

The Alpine Fault has been the focus of a lot of research over recent years, including the Deep Fault Drilling Project, Alpine Lake Sediment Research and the Earthquake Records at Hokuri Creek amongst them. These are building a much clearer picture of the history of previous fault ruptures, and allowing better estimates of the size …

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Lahars on Ruapehu

Ruapehu Eruption, Image: Lloyd Homer@GNS Science Ruapehu is very popular with skiers, trampers and other adventurers. As an active volcano with the potential for sudden eruptions through its crater lake, Ruapehu presents the Department of Conservation with a significant hazard management issue. Lahars on Ruapehu: Image: Lloyd Homer@GNS Science Obviously there is the possibility of …

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Beneath New Zealand 1 Documentary

Making Movies is an Auckland based film company that creates adventure and nature documentaries. I was asked to help with the script editing and presentation on a movie about the mountains of New Zealand. This involved spending time with the film team in the Southern Alps, amongst some of the most spectacular landscapes in New …

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Precarious Boulders and Earthquakes

The National Seismic Hazard Model is the result of lots of work by scientists to indicate the likelihood of earthquakes happening in different parts of New Zealand. It is made with reference to the historic record of earthquakes that have happened across the country, combined with research into the rupture histories of many individual active …

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NASA comes to Rotorua

Last week I was involved in a NASA Spaceward Bound meeting in Te Takinga Marae in Rotorua. The purpose of the meeting was to promote interest in Planetary Geology and  Astrobiology, and it was attended by about 50 scientists, educators, undergraduates and school students  from New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Romania, the UK and Kazakhstan.  …

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Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia

GNS Science, in partnership with a team from the University Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, is involved in a 5 year project to reduce the risks caused by natural disasters in Indonesia. Coastline, West Sumatra   J.Thomson@GNS Science Indonesia is a huge and very diverse country, made up of about 20 000 separate islands, with …

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Phase 2 Alpine Fault Drilling

Rupert Sutherland with DFDP-2 flags Whilst researchers continue to pull together the history of past Alpine Fault earthquakes, the Deep Fault Drilling Programme is well underway in Whataroa on the West Coast of the South Island. For an introduction to this project have a look at my blog and video here, or check out the …

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Nature’s Earthquake Recorders

In order to make sense of the sediment cores that can be retrieved from lakes near to the Alpine Fault such as Lake Christabel, it is worth having a think about what happens to the environment when the fault ruptures in a large earthquake. Under normal conditions, alpine lakes fill up very slowly with sediment …

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Lake Christabel

Lake Christabel   J.Thomson@GNS Science This is Lake Christabel in New Zealand’s South Island. It is one of the many beautiful alpine lakes  to be found close to the Alpine Fault. Lake Christabel was formed when a huge landslide blocked the valley, thus damming the river that then backed up to form the lake.The present day …

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