Earth Science

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Imaging the Crust beneath Wellington

Having had a close up look to the surface trace of the Wairarapa Fault (see recent post here), I thought it would be interesting to find out the latest about what such a major geological structure looks like below the earth’s surface. Stuart Henrys and colleagues at Victoria University, the University of Tokyo, Japan, and […]

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Wairarapa Fault – the Biggest Rupture on Earth

The Wairarapa Fault is one of New Zealand’s large active faults running along the eastern edge of the Rimutaka range from Palliser Bay north into the Wairarapa. It was responsible for the massive magnitude 8.2 earthquake that violently shook the lower North Island in 1855 in New Zealand’s largest historically recorded ‘quake. This Google Earth

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1000 Geothermal Springs

GNS Science and Waikato University are investigating one thousand of the geothermal hot springs in New Zealand’s North Island. The goal of this ambitious 1000 Springs Research Project is to understand and compare the microbiology of these springs along with their physical  and chemical make-up. That adds up to a lot of sampling trips, processing

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Mount Cook Rockfall

Hooker Valley rockfall. – Simon Cox / GNS Science On the evening of Monday 14th July there was a large rockfall from the western slopes of Mount Cook into the Hooker Valley.   Staff from the Department of Conservation and GNS Scientist Simon Cox flew over the area  to make assessments of the  impact. The first photo shows

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Drilling into New Zealand’s most dangerous fault

The Alpine Fault forms the plate boundary in New Zealand’s South Island, and is a very significant fault on a global scale. It last ruptured in 1717 AD and appears to produce large earthquakes on average every 330 years. Its next rupture has a high probability (28%)  of occurring in the next 50 years. Each

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Stepping Over the Boundary

This is a classic view of the Southern Alps from Lake Matheson on a still morning, showing the high peaks of Mount Tasman and Mount Cook.The Alpine Fault runs along the foot of the steep rangefront, extending right up the West Coast of the South Island. The mountains are therefore part of the Pacific Plate

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Franz Josef Ice on the Retreat

Franz Josef Glacier 2009 – Julian Thomson GNS Science Recently I visited the West Coast Glaciers and was interested to see their condition after my last visit 5 years ago in 2009. Franz Josef 2009- Photo Eric Burger These photos give and immediate comparison of Franz Josef Glacier over the last 5 years: In 2009 the

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