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Public talk to explore New Zealand earthquakes

Public talk to explore New Zealand earthquakes

Two experts in geophysics will be visiting New Plymouth as part of the Victoria University of Wellington 2014 Public Lecture Series to talk about the plate-tectonic origins of New Zealand and how these lead to earthquakes.

Dr Rupert Sutherland, an associate professor in Victoria’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, will give a talk titled The origin of Zealandia and its natural physical resources.

He will describe how Zealandia, a vast submerged New Zealand continent, became separated from Australia and Antarctica and was then modified into its current composition and shape by plate tectonics.

This history of separation and isolation explains many facets of New Zealand’s unique plants, animals and rocks, says Dr Sutherland. “We have inherited natural physical resources from Australia and the processes of plate tectonics have created some new ones of our own.”


He will be joined by Tim Stern, Professor of Geophysics, who will discuss New Zealand earthquakes, including the unusual deep events of Taranaki and the seismic tremor recently discovered on the Alpine Fault.

Professor Stern has 35 years of experience working in seismic exploration and seismology in New Zealand, Antarctica and western North America. His research interests include earthquakes and the structure and origin of our large,
offshore sedimentary basins.

The lectures will be presented at Quality Hotel Plymouth in New Plymouth on 10 July at 5.30pm. To attend this free talk email rsvp@vuw.ac.nz with ‘Earthquakes’ in the subject line or phone 04-463 6700 by Monday 7 July.

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