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Earthquake forecasting to be discussed

7 February 2008

Earthquake forecasting to be discussed by international experts

Up to 100 earthquake experts from around the world will head to Wellington this month to discuss how and why earthquake activity changes over time.

“This is a hazard of growing international research, and it is of importance all over the world. It is, of course, relevant to New Zealand researchers too, after an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale shook Gisborne just before Christmas, causing extensive damage,” says symposium organiser and Victoria University Associate Professor Martha Savage.

“It’s great that so many leading international investigators will be here in our capital city to share their expertise on earthquake processes and statistics relating to earthquake occurrence.”

The Victoria University event is being held in memory of the late Professor Emeritus of Geophysics, Frank Evison, and his earthquake forecasting work.

“Frank Evison was a great leader in geophysics and seismology in New Zealand. In his earlier days, he was a pioneer in using a new type of coal-seam wave which was later named an Evison wave. The wave is now used in resource exploration and also to study earthquake fault zones. Then, towards the end of his career, he was particularly keen on trying to figure out statistically valid measures for earthquake prediction,” says Dr Savage.

She says the upcoming event, called the Evison Symposium on Seismogenesis and Earthquake Forecasting, will cover many topics of interest and importance to Wellington.

The symposium, which will run from February 18 to 22, expects around 100 delegates from New Zealand, the United States of America, Japan, China, Europe and India.

Some highlights include:
- Earthquake statistics workshops from Emeritus Professor David Vere-Jones
- Lectures on Frank Evison’s role in the historical development of seismic research in New Zealand
- Lectures on the underlying physical processes behind earthquake activity

There will also be a public lecture at the University at 7pm on February 19 in McLaurin Lecture Theatre 103 by Professor David Jackson, a world leader in the field of earthquake hazard assessment.

The conference is being sponsored by GNS Science, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and Victoria University.

More information can be found at: http://www.gns.cri.nz/evisonsymposium/

ENDS

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