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Reflections On Science

GeoNet changed NZ earthquake science dramatically – Helen Anderson

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 29th, 2016.

Cantabrians have former seismologist Dr Helen Anderson’s vote for the world’s best citizen seismologists, she writes in Fairfax’s science page, Catalyst. An excerpt (read in full): Before [GeoNet], seismologists like me only knew an earthquake had occurred when the “drum” needles started shaking and the telephone for the seismological observatory became jammed with calls. For […]

Italy quake: comparisons and contrasts with Christchurch – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 25th, 2016.

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck the central Italian town of Amatrice, badly damaging the town and trapping people under rubble. At least six people are reported to have lost their lives so far. Dr Mark Quigley was a researcher and lecturer at the University of Canterbury when the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes struck Christchurch. […]

Christchurch Valentine’s Day quake – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 15th, 2016.

A magnitude 5.7 quake struck Christchurch just after 1pm yesterday. Strong shaking was reported and a cliff near Sumner partially collapsed sending up a large cloud of dust. Initial reports indicate the damage in the city has been minor and superficial. Selected coverage of the quakes includes: The Wireless: Why does this keep happening to […]

Asbestos not a major health risk for NZ homeowners

Laura Goodall posted in on April 15th, 2015.

Asbestos exposure during the post-earthquake Canterbury rebuild is unlikely to cause significant health problems for house occupants, according to a new report published this week by the Royal Society of New Zealand and Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. The report, titled Asbestos Exposure in New Zealand: Review of the Scientific Evidence of […]

Sanitised hands don’t stop sick days

Laura Goodall posted in on August 13th, 2014.

Compared to good hand washing practice, using hand sanitisers does not reduce school sick leave in children, suggests New Zealand-led research published in PLOS Medicine this week. The study, led by Associate Professor Patricia Priest and colleagues from the University of Otago, involved almost 2,500 pupils at 68 primary schools in Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. […]

Greening the red zone in Christchurch

John Kerr posted in on July 19th, 2012.

Christchurch researchers have retrospectively analysed the Canterbury quakes from the perspective of urban forest management, highlighting the important role trees and greenspaces played during the earthquakes. In the research article, published this week in the journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, researchers point out how rows trees acted as sheltering barricades against falling debris and […]

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Anatomy of a disaster: preliminary report on the February 22, 2011 Christchurch quake

Kent posted in on January 27th, 2012.

Scientists have confirmed in a new research paper on last year’s disastrous February 22  Christchurch aftershock that computer modelling showed a week beforehand that there was a 25 percent  chance of “a magnitude 6 or greater earthquake occurring in the general aftershock zone of the Darfield earthquake in the next year”.      The paper […]

Experts: South Island seismic risk needs re-evaluation

Kent posted in on November 2nd, 2011.

Scientists  behind the first big compilation of research into the  Christchurch earthquakes say the seismic risk to the whole of the South Island’s east coast needs to reviewed — and one group of American researchers has warned of risks for Dunedin. The research published in a special edition of a science journal, Seismological Research Letters […]

Running the numbers on quake risk

John Kerr posted in on July 22nd, 2011.

Although many people would like them to, scientists cannot predict earthquakes. They can, however, estimate the probability of one occurring using hazard modelling systems. Paul Gorman from the Press quizzed GNS Science on the most up-to-date odds of another strong shake hitting quake-stricken Christchurch. An excerpt (read in full here): One in seven chance of […]

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Experts answer quake queries

John Kerr posted in on June 29th, 2011.

In another ‘Ask the Experts’ section in the Press, geologists from GNS answer earthquake questions posed by readers of the newspaper. An excerpt (read in full here): Ask an Expert: Faultline fears and P-waves We have been told the potential size of an earthquake is proportionate to the length of the faultline that caused it. […]

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