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Unlocking the secrets of the Hikurangi subduction zone

29 July 2019

Media Release

Unlocking the secrets of the Hikurangi subduction zone

Four of the country’s leading scientists will share the latest research into New Zealand’s largest and most active fault in public talks in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay in August.

Hosted by Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, GNS Science, NIWA and East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary), scientists will present the latest findings on the Hikurangi subduction zone, slow slip events, earthquakes and tsunami, and the risk they pose to New Zealand.

Hikurangi subduction zone where the Pacific tectonic plate subducts (dives underneath) the Australian tectonic plate. Image supplied by GNS Science

Kate Boersen of East Coast LAB said people would learn about the diverse scientific research projects underway to understand the subduction zone during the hour-long talk. She said those who attended would also have the opportunity to ask questions.

“Scientists have been working tirelessly researching the Hikurangi subduction zone to seek patterns, occurrences, movements and possible clues from the past, to hopefully one day get a clearer picture of what is happening out there, and what that might mean for New Zealand,” Ms Boersen said.

Much of the research on the Hikurangi subduction zone is being undertaken under a five-year, $6 million MBIE-funded Endeavour project led by GNS Science, with major collaboration and contributions from international partners.

Project leader Dr Laura Wallace of GNS Science says that “This is a great opportunity for Gisborne and Wairoa communities to learn more about the range of science we have been doing to understand our largest plate boundary, and how we are coming to understand more and more about the risks the Hikurangi subduction zone poses.”

Public talks will take place in:

• Gisborne on Monday 5 August from 6.30 at Waikanae Surf Lifesaving

• Tokomaru Bay on Tuesday 6 August from 3.00pm at Haven Senior Citizens Hall

• Tolaga Bay/Uawa on Tuesday, 6 August from 6.30pm at the Fire Station

• Te Araroa on Wednesday, 7 August from 5.00pm at Hinerupe Marae

• Wairoa on Thursday 8 August from 6.00pm at Wairoa War Memorial Hall

For more information, visit www.eastcoastlab.org.nz or www.facebook.com/EastCoastLAB

ENDS

Note:

East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) is a collaborative programme that brings together scientists, emergency managers and other experts from across the East Coast to makes it easy and exciting to learn more about natural hazards and how they affect us.


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