Geohazards and Tectonics

Earthquake damage geotechnical engineering research
IMG 1316, supplied by Civil Engineering

The world in the 21st century is becoming an increasingly dangerous place, in spite of mind-boggling developments in science and technology. Destruction due to natural hazards appears to be continuing to increase exponentially, threatening developments and lives in many countries.

New Zealand is intrinsically one of the most dynamic and dangerous countries on Earth, with floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and tsunami all threatening a rapidly growing first-world economy. This is an ideal location to investigate the science behind the geological event. The postgraduate programmes in Disaster, Risk & Resilience are designed to lead to the development of ways to manage and mitigate risk of natural hazards.

Areas of research

  • Earthquake Processes
  • Structural Geology
  • Sedimentology and basin analysis in tectonically active margins, particularly convergent margins and terrane accretion (Kari Bassett)
  • Application of geomorphology to prediction of landform response to disturbance, in particular in the context of natural hazard and disaster management. (Tim Davies)
  • Dynamics of large silicic magma systems; interplay between magmatism, tectonism and volcanism, with particular reference to the Taupo Volcanic Zone. (Darren Gravley)
  • Volcanic Hazards - effects and mitigation of volcanic ash on infrastructure, housing, and machinery. Volcanic processes, reconstruction of volcanic systems, volcanic stratigraphy, and volcano-tectonic relationships. (Samuel Hampton)
  • Field-based and experimental volcanology, petrology, geochemistry of igneous rocks. Lava dome and explosive volcanism. Caldera formation, supervolcanic eruptions and magma chamber dynamics. Hazards and monitoring of active volcanoes. (Ben Kennedy)
  • Active tectonics and structure along the New Zealand (North Canterbury and east coast North Island) and southern California (western Salton Trough) plate boundary zones. (Jarg Pettinga)
  • Natural hazard and risk assessment, with special interest in volcanic eruptions. Impacts of natural hazards to critical infrastructure and primary industries. Community resilience to natural hazards. (Thomas Wilson)

Research team

Kari Bassett

Senior Lecturer Above the Bar
Sedimentology & Basin Analysis
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 222
Internal Phone: 94495

Tim Davies

Natural Hazards
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 209
Internal Phone: 94508

Darren Gravley

Associate Professor
Volcanology and Geothermal Systems
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 211
Internal Phone: 94489

Sam Hampton

Lecturer (Teaching & Admin)
Ernest Rutherford 263C
Internal Phone: 92758

Ben Kennedy

Physical Volcanology
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 213
Internal Phone: 94437

Jarg Pettinga

Structural Geology and Active Tectonics
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 218

Andy Nicol

Structural Geology
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 217
Internal Phone: 94436

Tim Stahl

Senior Lecturer Above the Bar
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 219

Tom Wilson

Disaster Risk and Resilience
Beatrice Tinsley Rm 210
Internal Phone: 94503