UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Matthew William Hughes

Civil and Natural Resources Engineering

Phone: +64 3 364 2987 ext. 94599

Office: Civil & Natural Resources Engineering E446

Fields of Research

  • Geospatial research on earthquake impacts on infrastructure lifelines

Researcher Summary

I am currently conducting geospatial research on the impacts of the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence on Christchurch City's infrastructure lifelines. This work is focussing on the potable water and waste water systems and the road network, to understand how ground deformation (transient seismic shaking, permanent deformation via liquefaction and lateral spreading) has caused the spatio-temporal patterns in infrastructure damage we see. I collaborate with members of the Christchurch City Council and the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team. The lessons arising from this research have important implications for understanding lifeline performance and resilience in future earthquakes in New Zealand and around the world.

My background is in paleoclimate and landscape evolution, and I have a strong intereste in understanding the dynamic interactions between seismic and climate hazrds, and their impacts on both urban and rural populations.

I also teach a 4th-year Geographic Information Systems course in the Natural Hazards Programme (Geological Sciences), and run a professional course at the University of Canterbury Risk, Resilience and Renewal Centre (UCR3), entitled Geospatial Technologies in Hazard/Disaster Assessment and Emergency Response.

Subject Area: Disciplines

Research Groups

Research/Scholarly/Creative Works

Journal Articles
  • Davies AJ., Sadashiva V., Aghababaei M., Barnhill D., Costello SB., Fanslow B., Headifen D., Hughes M., Kotze R. and Mackie J. (2017) TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PERFORMANCE AND MANAGEMENT IN THE SOUTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND, DURING THE FIRST 100 DAYS FOLLOWING THE 2016 MW 7.8 “KAIKŌURA” EARTHQUAKE. Bulletin of the New Zealand National Society for Earthquake Engineering 50(2): 271-299.
  • Hayes J., Wilson TM., Deligne NI., Cole J. and Hughes MW. (2017) A model to assess tephra clean-up requirements in urban environments. Journal of Applied Volcanology 6(1): 23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13617-016-0052-3.
  • Hughes MW., Nayyerloo M., Bellagamba X., Morris J., Brabhaharan P., Rooney S., Hobbs E. and Wooley K. (2017) Impacts of the 14th November 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake on three waters systems in Wellington, Marlborough and Kaikōura, New Zealand: Preliminary observations. Bulletin- New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering 50(2): 306-317.
  • Power W., Clark K., King DN., Borrero J., Howarth J., Lane EM., Goring D., Goff J., Chagué-Goff C. and Williams J. (2017) Tsunami runup and tide-gauge observations from the 14 November 2016 M7.8 Kaikōura earthquake, New Zealand. Pure and Applied Geophysics 174: 2457-2473. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00024-017-1566-2.
  • Monk CB., van Ballegooy S., Hughes MW. and Villeneuve M. (2016) Liquefaction Vulnerability Increase at North New Brighton due to Subsidence, Sea Level Rise, and Reduction in Thickness of the Non-Liquefying Layer. Bulletin- New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering 49(4): 334-340.
  • Morgenroth J., Hughes MW. and Cubrinovski M. (2016) Object-based image analysis for mapping earthquake-induced liquefaction ejecta in Christchurch, New Zealand. Natural Hazards (early online access) http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11069-016-2217-0.
  • Quigley MC., Hughes MW., Bradley BA., van Ballegooy S., Reid CM., Morgenroth J., Horton TW., Duffy B. and Pettinga JR. (2016) The 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence: Environmental effects, seismic triggering thresholds and geologic legacy. Tectonophysics 672–673: 228-274. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2016.01.044.
  • Townsend D., Lee JM., Strong DT., Jongens R., Smith Lyttle B., Ashraf S., Rosser B., Perrin N., Lyttle K. and Cubrinovski M. (2016) Mapping surface liquefaction caused by the September 2010 and February 2011 Canterbury earthquakes: a digital dataset. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 59(4): 496-513. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00288306.2016.1182929.
  • Hughes MW., Quigley MC., Van Ballegooy S., Deam BL., Bradley BA., Hart DE. and Measures R. (2015) The sinking city: Earthquakes increase flood hazard in Christchurch, New Zealand. GSA Today 25(3): 4-10.
  • Cubrinovski M., Hughes M. and O'Rourke TD. (2014) Impacts of liquefaction on the potable water system of Christchurch in the 2010-2011 Canterbury (NZ) earthquakes. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology - AQUA 63(2): 95-105. http://dx.doi.org/10.2166/aqua.2013.004.
  • Cubrinovski M., Winkley A., Haskell J., Palermo A., Wotherspoon L., Robinson K., Bradley B., Brabhaharan P. and Hughes M. (2014) Spreading-induced damage to short-span bridges in Christchurch, New Zealand. Earthquake Spectra 30(1): 57-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1193/030513EQS063M.
  • O'Rourke T., Jeon SS., Toprak S., Cubrinovski M., Hughes M., van Ballegooy S. and Bouziou D. (2014) Earthquake Response of Underground Pipeline Networks in Christchurch, NZ. Earthquake Spectra 30(1): 183-204. http://dx.doi.org/10.1193/030413EQS062M.
  • Cubrinovski M., Robinson K., Taylor M., Hughes M. and Orense R. (2012) Lateral spreading and its impacts in urban areas in the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 55(3): 255-269. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00288306.2012.699895.
  • Cubrinovski M., Robinson K., Taylor M., Hughes M. and Orense R. (2012) Lateral spreading and its impacts in urban areas in the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 55(4): 255-269. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00288306.2012.699895.
  • Hughes MW., Almond PC., Roering JJ. and Tonkin PJ. (2010) Late Quaternary loess landscape evolution on an active tectonic margin, Charwell Basin, South Island, New Zealand. Geomorphology 122(3-4): 294-308. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.09.034.
  • Hughes MW., Almond PC. and Roering JJ. (2009) Increased sediment production via bioturbation at the last glacial-interglacial transition. Geology 37(10): 919-922. http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G30159A.1.
  • Hughes MW., Schmidt J. and Almond PC. (2009) Automatic landform stratification and environmental correlation for modelling loess landscapes in North Otago, South Island, New Zealand. Geoderma 149(1-2): 92-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2008.11.024.
  • Walther SC., Roering JJ., Almond PC. and Hughes MW. (2009) Long-term biogenic soil mixing and transport in a hilly, loess-mantled landscape: Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington. CATENA 79(2): 170-178. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2009.08.003.
  • Alloway., V B., Lowe., J D., Barrell., A DJ., Newnham., M R., Almond. and C P. (2007) Towards a climate event stratigraphy for New Zealand over the past 30 000 years (NZ-INTIMATE project). Journal of Quaternary Science 22(1): 9-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.1079.
Conference Contributions - Published
  • Hart DE., Byun DS., Giovinazzi S., Hughes MW. and Gomez C. (2015) Relative Sea Level Changes on a Seismically Active Urban Coast: Observations from Laboratory Christchurch. Auckland, New Zealand: Australasian Coasts & Ports Conference 2015, 15-18 Sep 2015. In Australasian Coasts & Ports Proceedings: 6pp.
Conference Contributions - Other
  • Hughes MW. (2017) Signs of Life? Reflections on planetary habitability and the responsibilities of young galactic civilisations. Westport, New Zealand: Second Annual New Zealand Space and Astrobiology Workshop, 10-11 Apr 2017
  • Hughes MW. (2016) Sea-level rise in Christchurch, New Zealand: Seismic-climate dynamics, urban landscape evolution, and societal responses. Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam: Eighth International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts & Responses, 21-22 Apr 2016
  • Hughes MW. (2016) Signs of Life? Reflections on planetary habitability and the responsibilities of young galactic civilisations. Kaikoura, New Zealand: Inaugural New Zealand Astrobiology Workshop, 17-19 Jan 2016
  • Bradley BA., Lee RL., Thomson EM., Ghisetti F., McGann CR., Pettinga J. and Hughes MW. (2015) 3D Canterbury Velocity Model (CantVM) - Version 1.0. Palm Springs, CA, USA: 2015 Southern California Earthquake Centre Annual Meeting (SCEC), 12-16 Sep 2015
  • Cubrinovski M., Taylor M., Henderson D., Winkley A., Haskell J., Bradley BA., Hughes M., Wotherspoon L., Bray J. and O'Rourke T. (2014) Key factors in the liquefaction-induced damage to buildings and infrastructure in Christchurch: Preliminary findings. Auckland, New Zealand: 2014 New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Annual Conference (NZSEE), 21-23 Mar 2014
  • Hayes J., Wilson TM., Deligne NI., Huges M. and Cole JW. (2014) Ash clean-up in Auckland. Auckland, New Zealand: 2014 Determining Volcanic Risk in Auckland Research Forum (DEVORA), 7-7 Nov 2014
  • Hayes J., Wilson TM., Hughes M., Magill C., Cole JW. and Deligne NI. (2014) Pyroclastic fall and flow clean-up in Auckland City, New Zealand: quantitative impact assessment and response planning. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Cities on Volcanoes 8, 9-13 Sep 2014
  • Lee RL., Bradley BA., Pettinga J., Hughes M. and Graves RW. (2014) Ongoing development of a 3D seismic velocity model for Canterbury, New Zealand for broadband ground motion simulation. Auckland, New Zealand: 2014 New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Annual Conference (NZSEE), 21-23 Mar 2014
  • Lee RL., Bradley BA., Pettinga JR., Hughes M. and Graves RW. (2013) A 3D seismic velocity model for Canterbury, New Zealand for broadband ground motion simulation. Palm Springs, CA, USA: Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Annual Meeting, 8-11 Sep 2013
  • Hart DE., Gomez C., Kirk RM., Hughes MW., Kelland E., Wood GV., Davis CA. and Giovinazzi S. (2012) Coastal quakes: New Zealand's underrated hazard complex. Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Coastal Society Annual Conference (NZCS), 14-16 Nov 2012
  • Hughes M., Swaffield S., Hart D., Kirk B. and Cubrinovski M. (2012) Sea-level rise in Christchurch, New Zealand: Envisioning synergistic climate-seismic risks and exploring alternative futures in dynamic coastal landscapes. Wellington, New Zealand: 4th Digital Earth Summit, 2-4 Sep 2012
  • Hughes M., Almond P., Roering J. and Tonkin P. (2009) Late Quaternary loess landscape evolution on an active tectonic margin, Charwell Basin, New Zealand. Melbourne, Australia: 7th International Conference on Geomorphology (ANZIAG), 6-11 Jul 2009
  • Hughes MW. and Almond PC. (2007) Vegetation structure through the Last Glacial Maximum-Last Glacial Interglacial Transition in eastern South Island, New Zealand based on a phytolith record: A forested or grassed LGM? Cairns, Australia: XVII INQUA Congress - The Tropics: Heat Engine of the Quaternary, 28 Jul-3 Aug 2007
  • Bradley BA., Comerio M., Cubrinovski M., Dellow S., Dizhur D., Elwood K., Giaretton M., Horspool N., Hughes MW. and Ingham J. (2017) QuakeCoRE, GEER, and EERI Preliminary Earthquake Reconnaissance Report: M7.8 Kaikōura, New Zealand Earthquake on November 14, 2016.24.
  • Cubrinovski M., Hughes M., Bradley B., Noonan J., McNeill S., English G. and Sampedro IG. (2015) Horizontal Infrastructure Performance and Application of the Liquefaction Resistance Index Methodology in Christchurch City through the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.Commissioned by NHRP (Natural Hazards Research Platform). 58pp.
  • Allen J., Davis C., Giovinazzi S., Hart DE., Cochrane T., Deam B., De Pascale G., Hicks M., Holland D. and Hughes M. (2014) Geotechnical & flooding reconnaissance of the 2014 March flood event post 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence, New Zealand. In Report No. GEER035, GEER Association. Commissioned by Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association. 134pp. http://www.geerassociation.org/GEER_Post%20EQ%20Reports/Christchurch_Flood_2014/index.html.
  • Cubrinovski M., Hughes M., Bradley BA., Noonan J., Hopkins R., McNeill S. and English G. (2014) Performance of horizontal infrastructure in Christchurch city through the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence.University of Canterbury Research Report 2014-02. 139pp.
  • Cubrinovski M., Hughes M., Bradley B., McCahon I., McDonald Y., Simpson H., Cameron R., Christison M., Henderson B. and Orense R. (2011) Liquefaction Impacts on Pipe Networks: Short Term Recovery Project No. 6.University of Canterbury. Commissioned by Natural Hazards Research Platform & Christchurch City Council. 74pp.
Theses / Dissertations
  • Hughes MW. (2008) Late Quaternary Landscape Evolution and Environmental Change in Charwell Basin, South Island, New Zealand. http://hdl.handle.net/10182/305. Lincoln, New Zealand. Lincoln University.
Oral Presentations
  • Hughes MW. (2015) Oral submission to the Christchurch City Council on the 2015-2045 Long-Term Infrastructure Plan 16.05.15 - Item 2 - Hearings of Submissions - Matthew Hughes. Christchurch City Council Chambers, Christchurch, New Zealand: http://councillive.ccc.govt.nz/video/5546.
  • Hughes MW. (2015) Sea level past, present and future: issues for coastal communities in the Anthropocene. Sumner School Hall, Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Wilson TM., Hayes J., Deligne NI., Hughes M. and Cole JW. (2014) Volcanic Ash Clean Up and Disposal in Urban Environments. Te Puke, New Zealand.
  • Cubrinovski M. and Hughes M. (2011) Liquefaction map of Christchurch based on drive-through reconnaissance after the 13 June 2011 earthquake. University of Canterbury.
  • Cubrinovski M., Hughes MW. and McCahon I. (2011) Liquefaction Resistance Index (Zoning) map of Christchurch at water table depth based on liquefaction observations from the 2010-2011 earthquakes and water table depth information. University of Canterbury.
Additional Publications
  • Almond PC., Roering JJ., Hughes MW., Lutter FS. and LeBouteiller C. (2008) Climatic and anthropogenic effects on soil transport rates and hillslope evolution. In Schmidt J; Cochrane T; Phillips C; Elliot S; Davies T; Basher L (Ed.), Sediment Dynamics in Changing Environments: 417-424. Wallingford: International Association of Hydrological Sciences.