Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Project On Risk From Volcanoes In Auckland

Project To Focus On Risk From Volcanoes In Auckland

A major research project is underway to improve the understanding of the vulnerability of the Auckland region to volcanic eruptions.

The aim of the seven-year, $5 million project is to better define Auckland’s volcanic risk using the latest geological techniques and sophisticated computer modelling. The information provided by the project, called ‘DEVORA’ (DEtermining VOlcanic Risk in Auckland), will help Auckland become better prepared for and safer from a future volcanic eruption by enabling better decision making to protect assets and reduce potential casualties.

Government-owned research and consultancy company GNS Science and the Institute of Earth Science and Engineering (IESE) at The University of Auckland will jointly lead the project, which will involve collaboration with a number of public and private sector organisations. The Earthquake Commission is providing initial funding.

Auckland is built on the Auckland Volcanic Field, a group of 50 volcanoes that have erupted over the last 250,000 years. Scientists believe that each volcano erupted only for a few months or years and then became extinct. However, knowledge of exactly when each volcano erupted, and how future eruptions might occur is incomplete.

The project will improve knowledge of the history of the Auckland volcanoes and the effects they have had on what is now Auckland City. A future volcano might erupt anywhere within Auckland, and likely effects are lava flows, hot ash and gas avalanches, fire fountains and ashfall. Auckland is also at risk from ash fall from distant eruptions at volcanoes in the central North Island, and DEVORA will improve understanding of this volcanic threat too.

There are three main strands to the research – physical models of how the volcanoes work, risk and hazards from the volcanoes, and the social and economic impacts. There are knowledge gaps in all these areas.

Joint Project Leader, Jan Lindsay from the IESE said the project was a step forward in improving the understanding of the risk to Auckland and Aucklanders from volcanoes.

“It’s not a matter of if, but when, and the more we know about volcanoes and the impact an eruption would have on our city, the better prepared Auckland can be,’’ Dr Lindsay said.

GNS Science Chief Executive, Alex Malahoff, said the collaboration between GNS Science and the IESE acknowledged the two centres of excellence in volcanic research.

“The collaboration will provide an unprecedented amount of information on the volcanic risk in the Auckland region. It is important to understand how the volcanic field might erupt in the future, so Auckland can continue to develop as a major economic hub in New Zealand and the Southwest Pacific,” Dr Malahoff said.

“The project is designed so that the information can be taken up readily and used in civil engineering, infrastructure planning, emergency management, and the insurance industry.”

The Earthquake Commission’s Chief Executive David Middleton said the research was needed because not enough was known about the risk of volcanic eruption in the Auckland region.

“It is important that conventional wisdom is not allowed to crowd out scientific advances. The better our understanding of the hazards we face, the better equipped we can become to deal with them,” Mr Middleton said.

“This work is based on the success of the ‘It’s Our Fault’ project in Wellington, where the risk of earthquake in Greater Wellington is being better assessed by a series of collaborations with industry, regional government and science institutions.”


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Housing: English On Housing Affordability And The Economy

"Long lead times in the planning process tend to drive prices higher in the upswing of the housing cycle. And those lead times increase the risk that eight years later, when additional supply arrives, the demand shock that spurred the additional supply has reversed. The resulting excess supply could produce a price crash..." More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news