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Geology & Seismology

New Thinking

Science backgrounder, Geothermal energy and micro-earthquakes

Small earthquakes are reasonably common in geothermal energy developments worldwide. GNS Science seismologist Dr Steve Sherburn explains that some are naturally occurring and some are caused by human activity. But both types are generally harmless to people and property

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NIWA Scientists set to survey Pegasus Bay with seismic equipment

NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa has sailed for Lyttelton equipped with seismic survey gear to survey an area of southern Pegasus Bay.

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Tsunami waves hit New Zealand on cue after Japan earthquake

New data from NIWA shows waves generated by last Friday’s magnitude 9.0 Japan earthquake reached all coasts of New Zealand, as predicted, and even registered on a sea-level gauge at Scott Base, in Antarctica.

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Serious risk of landslides in quake zone

GNS Science says there is still a real risk of landslides in Christchurch's hillside suburbs.

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Quake could have been magnified by volcanic rock

The strength of the earthquake which left much of Christchurch in rubble on Tuesday may have been magnified as it reflected off hard volcanic rock below its epicentre, a GNS Science geologist says.

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NZ scientists start Tsunami project in Samoa

Scientists from New Zealand have started a year-long project to develop tsunami evacuation maps for Samoa. The project is funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and is being undertaken by tsunami and social science specialists at GNS Science.

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Good uptake for Christchurch quake recording project

Scientists have been overwhelmed with Christchurch people volunteering to host miniature earthquake recorders in their homes to record aftershocks

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At least a couple of 5.0 shocks could be on way

Canterbury could get at least two more aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or higher, but the risk of a bigger earthquake is fading by the hour, GNS Science says.

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Canterbury quake the most damaging since 1931

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit Canterbury early today is expected to be the most damaging since the 1931 magnitude 7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

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Canterbury fault had not ruptured for at least 16,000 years

The fault that ruptured and produced the magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Canterbury on Saturday appears not to have ruptured for at least 16,000 years, GNS Science scientists say.

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New Science

Famous geyser may be cruising back into life

The once-famous Waikite Geyser in Rotorua is showing signs of rejuvenation after 43 years of very little activity, scientists say.

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Coast to coast seismic study to yield lower North Island's deep secrets

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GNS Scientists analyse aftershocks

The large aftershock on 20th March may prove important in determining whether more damaging quakes may hit Christchurch.

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Scientists drill alpine fault for first time

A New Zealand-led team of international scientists has successfully drilled through the alpine fault in the western South Island, the first phase of a project to learn about earthquake mechanisms on the fault.

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Faultline drillers on quake project

GNS Scientists have begun an ambitious project to drill boreholes into the South Island's Alpine Fault, hoping to find out more about how an active fault reacts before and during an earthquake.

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Scientists poised to drill into fault

One of New Zealand's biggest science experiments, involving scientists from Otago University, Crown research institute GNS Science and Victoria University, has been cleared to start in three weeks.

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GNS scientists finding faults

Four and possibly more faults are now believed responsible for September’s devastating Canterbury ‘quake, each with differing magnitude.

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Huge energy of shake puzzles scientists

GNS Scientists are puzzled why the Canterbury earthquake released more than 10 times the energy a quake of its size normally would.

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Lake of “Lost Wonders”

The Pink and White Terraces drew tourists from around the world before being destroyed in the Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886. But could traces remain?

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GNS Scientists To Probe Lake Rotomahana

Scientists from the New Zealand and the United States are planning to use two torpedo-like unmanned underwater vehicles to map the bottom of Lake Rotomahana, near Rotorua, and look for hydrothermal activity on the lake bed.

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New Value

Scientists to gather earthquake shaking information

Scientists will be visiting residential properties in Christchurch during the next two weeks to gather information to improve earthquake hazard and risk assessments in New Zealand

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Rotomahana lake floor survey returns wealth of new information

Scientists have backed up findings from last year to show that a substantial portion of the Pink Terraces appears to have survived the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is sitting at the bottom of Lake Rotomahana covered by two metres of sediment.

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Tsunami monitoring system in place

The likely impact of tsunami on New Zealand's vulnerable coastline is now better understood, following the completion of a major GNS Science project to install sea level monitoring devices.

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South Island to get quake sensors

From next year, GeoNet, a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and GNS Science, will roll out a monitoring station network across the upper South Island as part of a $45 million, five-year programme.

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New geological map of Fiordland a decade in the making

Seven summers of fieldwork in remote parts of Fiordland by a group of GNS Science geologists has culminated

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Globe Caritas used in major seismic survey

Software from GNS Science is being used to get a first look at New Zealand’s offshore geology as part of a major push to open up new areas for oil exploration.

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Earth science book wins Montana Book Award

A book co-published by GNS Science and the Geological Society of New Zealand has won the environment category of the 2009 Montana Book Awards.

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Reducing the impact of natural hazards in Vietnam

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Earth science book a finalist in 2009 Montana Book Awards

A book co-published by GNS Science and the Geological Society of New Zealand has been selected as a finalist in the 2009 Montana Book Awards.

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GNS Science sells software internationally

Crown Research Institute GNS Science has reached a milestone by selling its seismic processing software to international processing provider, Spectrum Geo Limited.

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Crown Research Institutes

  • AgResearch logo.
  • Plant and Food Research logo.
  • ESR logo. GNS Science logo.
  • Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua logo.
  • NIWA logo.
  • SCION logo.

Subsidiaries, associates, joint ventures

  • Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics
  • Enviromark NZ
  • EcoGene
  • EnCoate
  • Invasive Species International
  • SLURI
  • Prevar
  • Clone International
  • farmax
  • Atlastech
  • Manaaki Whenua Press
  • Veritec
  • VARNZ Ltd
  • EBEX21
  • Grasslands Innovation
  • CEMARS
  • BioPacific Ventures
  • Biopolymer Network
  • grasslanz
  • National Land Resource Centre (NLRC)
  • PhytaGro, Inc
  • carboNZero