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Reflections On Science

Welcome to the age of the Anthropocene – Tim Naish

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 26th, 2016.

Is the “Anthropocene” an exercise in geological bureaucracy or something socially more significant – Victoria University’s Professor Tim Naish writes in Fairfax’s science page – Catalyst. An excerpt (read in full): Welcome to the age of the “Anthropocene”. This is to be known as the period of geological history in which human activities left an […]

Alpine fault shifts greater than thought

John Kerr posted in on March 8th, 2016.

The Alpine Fault running down the middle of the South Island has shifted more than previously thought. New research from Victoria University Wellington and GNS Science has revealed that the two sides of the fault have shifted 700km relative to each other in the last 25 million years – more than any other known onland […]

Five years on: the Christchurch 2011 quake

John Kerr posted in on February 19th, 2016.

Five years on from the biggest disaster in modern New Zealand, experts share their experiences and thoughts. At 12:51 pm on the 22nd of  February, 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the city of Christchurch. One hundred and eighty five people lost their lives in the disaster, and the damage caused has been estimated in the […]

Is a megathrust quake around the corner? – Campbell Live

Laura Goodall posted in on May 20th, 2015.

Campbell Live’s Tristram Clayton and Whena Owen interviewed GNS scientists last night about the latest findings on central New Zealand’s ‘megathrust’ quake zone. We already know that New Zealand is earthquake-prone and that the Hikurangi Margin, where the Australian Plate pushes down on the Pacific Plate, is a hotspot. However scientists have now found evidence, after analysing sediment cores from […]

Second earthquake in Nepal – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 13th, 2015.

A second major earthquake has struck Nepal. The 7.3 magnitude quake comes after the widespread destruction caused by the 7.8 quake on the 25 April. Our colleagues at the UK SMC collected the following expert commentary. Prof Sandy Steacy, Head of School of Physical Sciences at The University of Adelaide, said: “Although today’s M = […]

Scientists to drill deep into Alpine Fault

John Kerr posted in on June 26th, 2014.

Scientist are planning to drill deep in the Alpine Fault to learn more about the fault and the earthquakes it produces with surprising regularity – at least in geological terms. The location is regarded by scientists as one of the best sites in the world to study the inner workings of a major plate boundary fault. […]

Slippery clay a factor in Japan’s Tohoku-Oki 2011 earthquake

John Kerr posted in on December 6th, 2013.

A thin layer of slippery clay was major contributor to the fault rupture that generated the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and subsequent tsunami, according to new sea floor drilling research. A series of three studies, published today in Science, describe rock samples retrieved from the rupture zone. Their collective observations suggest that a critical reason for […]

Scientists plan tectonic research

John Kerr posted in on April 15th, 2013.

One hundred and sixty scientists from around the globe are gathering in Wellington this week to discuss potential projects examining the geology of subduction zones, the places where one tectonic plate slips under another. The meeting, held at Te Papa, is a workshop organised by GeoPRISMS, an initiative funded by the US National Science Foundation […]

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Hunt for remains of Pink & White Terraces continues

John Kerr posted in on March 7th, 2012.

Researchers are continuing their quest for detail the remains of the once famous Pink and White Terraces buried at the bottom of Lake Rotomahana. The picturesque terraces, once described as the eighth wonder of the natural world, were buried in the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886. This week researchers are heading out on to […]

Impacts of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’

Dacia Herbulock posted in on August 11th, 2011.

Hydraulic fracturing — a technology commonly known as “fraccing” or “fracking” — widely used in the oil and gas industry overseas has recently triggered some controversy in New Zealand, with critics raising questions over potential environmental impacts. Though the technology has not long been used in New Zealand, it is expected to be a key […]

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