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

 


Scientists Investigate Tsunami Potential In Kaikoura Canyon

Scientists Investigate Tsunami Potential In Kaikoura Canyon

Scientists will be working off the east coast of the South Island next week investigating the potential for a landslide tsunami in the head of the Kaikoura Canyon.


The Kaikoura Canyon is up to 2000 metres deep in places and comes within 500 metres of the coast south of Kaikoura, closer than any other New Zealand submarine canyon.


It is in an active seismic region, with faults such as the nearby Hope Fault capable of producing large earthquakes.


Last year NIWA scientists successfully mapped the shallow reaches of the canyon between Oaro and Goose Bay. The Kaikoura Canyon investigation is part of an ongoing programme with Environment Canterbury to understand the hazard posed to the Canterbury coastline from tsunamis.


That project is now being followed up by fieldwork from NIWA’s research vessel Ikatere to assess the strength of sediment layers at the canyon head.


NIWA marine geologist and project leader Dr Joshu Mountjoy says the seafloor drops off steeply into the Kaikoura Canyon.


“Our work last year showed us that several different types of landslides can occur here, and we need to understand what will happen to the rock and sediment during an earthquake,” Dr Mountjoy said.


Determining the strength of the sediment layers will enable the scientists to figure out what changes are needed to make it slide. If the layer is weak it will slide easily, but denser layers are likely to be stronger and more stable.


Understanding more about the hazard potential in the canyon will enable vulnerable coastal communities to build resilience and be better prepared for natural hazards.


“It is very important to understand how big these tsunamis can be, and where and when they might occur,” Dr Mountjoy said. “This fieldwork will fill in a significant piece of the puzzle and will enable us to undertake sophisticated numerical modelling to better understand the landslide tsunami potential.”


Dr Mountjoy will be joined on the research vessel by doctorate students from the University of Canterbury and the University of Bremen in Germany. The team will use a new coring system to retrieve sediment from a range of water depths for testing in the engineering laboratory at the University of Canterbury.


A state-of-the-art free-fall Dynamic Cone Penetration (CPT) system from the Marine Geotechnics department at the University of Bremen will be used to measure the strength of the sediment. The CPT is also used to see if there is any pressure within the sediment that might weaken the slopes and make it easier for landslides to occur.


“Geotechnical measurements will allow us to use numerical modelling to determine the response of the shallow seabed to future earthquakes,” Dr Mountjoy said.


The Kaikoura District Council, Civil Defence and Environment Canterbury are holding a Community Preparedness/Tsunami Information roadshow on March 19 and 20 in Kaikoura, Clarence and Goose Bay.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news