GNS Science Videos

During my 12 years as the Outreach Educator at GNS Science I had the opportunity to make over 160 videos for their YouTube channel.

Because GNS Science staff do a lot of research in the field it was a great opportunity to show case researchers in action in the environment. This took me on many projects all over New Zealand, to film volcano monitoring, glacier research, exploration for fossils, and the aftermaths of earthquakes and landslides. 

So here is are some of those videos, selected either because I like the way they turned out, the story was special or unique in some way, or because the process of filming was unexpected and exciting.  But actually its just a pretty random selection. There are plenty more where these come from so check out the GNS YouTube Channel

The first one was a really special exploration of Lake Rotomahana, where the team managed to locate some pieces of the Pink Terraces that vanished in the Tarawera eruption of 1886.

The second is about an ascent of Mount Cook, to take the most accurate measurements ever of its precise height. Following a huge collapse of the mountain in 1991 that lowered the high peak by an estimated 10 metres. 

However this expedition showed up a very different result for the  present height of the mountain.

This one is a great description of the volcanoes of Auckland, how they erupt and the rocks that they form, presented by Ian Smith.

A detailed look at the ice core drilling process on an expedition to Antarctica.

This simple educational model demonstrates how one earthquake can add stress to the earth, resulting in aftershocks.

How do scientists work out the location and magnitude of an earthquake? John Ristau of GeoNet explains it all very clearly:

Another educational model, this time using a tsunami tank, showing how tsunami deposits are created

Drilling in to the Alpine Fault is a highly technical challenge. I asked VirginiaToy of Otago University to explain how the rocks brought up from below ground are processed and analysed, and what we can learn from them.

The Kaikoura Quake caused many landslides in the mountains. Some of these caused a significant hazard by damming up river valleys, risking collapse of the dam and a flash flood. Chris Massey explained how the science team go about evaluating thes hazard in the Linton Valley.

GNS Science has the most accurate water dating laboratory in the world – 4 times more accurate than the next best one, thanks to the genius of Uwe Morgenstern and his team. Heather Martindale explains how groundwater is dated:


Jamie Howarth has a brilliant way of finding out about past ruptures along the Alpine Fault. I spent a week with him and his colleagues as we used a special lightweight coring system to get sediments from the bottom of Lake Christabel to reveal the earthquake history: