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Taking our geoscience to our communities 28/08/2018

A hugely successful public meeting in Blenheim last year has spurred on the Marlborough District Council to holding a follow up event this week on the latest earthquake research as part of the South Island Annual Civil Defence meeting.

Four scientists from GNS Science (Rob Langridge, Caroline Holden, Russ Van Dissen, Chris Massey) and one from Otago University (Caroline Orchiston) will talk about recent findings on the impact and effects of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and Project AF8. Organisers hope it’ll attract a similar audience to the 400 people who turned up last November.

Blenheim meeting

400 people turned up for the Blenheim meeting last year.

Rob Langridge says public interest in the geoscience nitty-gritty is always high immediately following a natural disaster like this. Last month the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America published a collection of Kaikōura quake research papers that featured results from GNS Science reconnassiance efforts.

“This is a great opportunity to share some of that knowledge with the communities that are most affected. We find that people ask great questions and are really interested in the way past geological events can be key to the present and predictors of the future,” says Rob.

Rob will speak about the record-breaking rupture of the Papatea Fault during the 2016 earthquake and its impact on the Clarence River valley and coastline.

“It really brings the science home to people when you can show how the Papatea Fault caused movement of the Papatea block which ultimately caused closure of the SH1 at Ohau Point for 13 months.”

The other presentations include Geonet’s record of every second of the two minutes it took for the earthquake to unzip from Waiau to Cape Campbell, its engineering impacts, the 25,000 mapped landslides that were triggered, and Project AF8 – the collaborative effort to save lives by preparing for a magnitude 8 earthquake on the Alpine Fault.

The public meeting is tomorrow evening at the ASB Theatre in Blenheim.