Scientists plan tectonic research

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.

One of the locations of interest is the Kermadec Arc, an submarine ridge north of New Zealand where the Pacific Plate subducts under the Indo-Australian Plate.

The meeting, held at Te Papa, is a workshop organised by GeoPRISMS, an initiative funded by the US National Science Foundation and tasked with investigating the processes that build and modify the continental margins where tectonic plates meet.

As part of its earth science research programme, the National Science Foundation in the US has picked New Zealand as one of three places in the world where a large amount of research effort and money will be spent on understanding what happens at the boundaries where tectonic plates meet.

Research proposals to be discussed at the workshop include plans to drill into the sea floor at various locations around New Zealand to learn more about how subduction zones are related to earthquakes, tsunamis and underwater volcanoes.

You can read more about the workshop and proposed research on the GNS website.

The meeting has been covered by Radio New Zealand, New Zealand Herald, and the Dominion Post.