Staff profiles

Simon CoxStructural Geologist

Cox Simon 1930 v43




Geological Mapping & Stratigraphy

Contact me


Dr Simon Cox is a Principal Scientist at GNS Science, with professional expertise in geological mapping, structural geology, tectonics and fluid flow. His research has played a transformative role in organising information and advancing geological knowledge of the South Island and Antarctica. Pioneering investigations have led to an improved understanding of plate-tectonic deformation in and around the Alpine Fault and Southern Alps. Research on pounamu directly supports iwi/Māori and is part of a broader package of pure and applied work characterising landscape evolution and hazards from groundwater, earthquakes, landslides, and erosion. The impact of Dr Cox’s work has been recognized by a lifetime achievement award, multiple national awards, grants and international speaking invitations. He continues to help communities develop resilience to effects of natural hazards and climate change.


  • MSc, Geology
  • PhD
  • BSc, Geology

Areas of expertise

  • Geology: Tectonics
  • Geology: Mineral deposit research
  • Geology: Structural Geology
  • Geology: Geological mapping using GIS
  • Geology: Antarctic Geology

Major Publications

See all publications

  • Cox, S.C.; van Ballegooy, S.; Rutter, H.K.; Harte, D.S.; Holden, C.; Gulley, A.K.; Lacrosse, V.; Manga, M. 2021. Can artesian groundwater and earthquake-induced aquifer leakage exacerbate the manifestation of liquefaction?, Engineering Geology 281: article 105982. DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2020.105982.
  • Weaver, K.C.; Arnold, R.; Holden, C.; Townend, J.; Cox, S.C. 2020. A probabilistic model of aquifer susceptibility to earthquake-induced groundwater-level changes, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 110(3): p. 1046-1063. DOI: 10.1785/0120180278.
  • Weaver, K.C.; Cox, S.C.; Townend, J.; Rutter, H.; Hamling, I.J.; Holden, C. 2019. Seismological and hydrogeological controls on New Zealand-wide groundwater level changes induced by the 2016 MW Kaikoura earthquake, Geofluids 2019: article 9809458. DOI: 10.1155/2019/9809458.
  • O'Brien, G.A.; Cox, S.C.; Townend, J. 2016. Spatially and temporally systematic hydrologic changes within large geoengineered landslides, Cromwell Gorge, New Zealand, induced by multiple regional earthquakes, Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth 121(12): p. 8750-8773. DOI: 10.1002/2016JB013418.
  • Beyssac, O.; Cox, S.C.; Vry, J.; Herman, F. 2016. Peak metamorphic temperature and thermal history of the Southern Alps (New Zealand), Tectonophysics 676: p. 229-249. DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.12.024.
  • Herman, F.; Beyssac, O.; Brughelli, M.; Lane, S.N.; Leprince, S.; Adatte, T.; Lin, J.Y.Y.; Avouac, J-P.; Cox, S.C. 2015. Erosion by an alpine glacier, Science 350(6257): p. 193-195. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2386.
  • Cox, S.C.; Nibourel, L. 2015. Bedload composition, transport and modification in rivers of Westland, New Zealand, with implications for the distribution of alluvial pounamu (jade), New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 58(2): p. 154-175. DOI: 10.1080/00288306.2015.1025799.
  • Cox, S.C.; Menzies, C.D.; Sutherland, R.; Denys, P.H.; Chamberlain, C.; Teagle, D.A.H. 2015. Changes in hot spring temperature and hydrogeology of the Alpine Fault hanging wall, New Zealand, induced by distal South Island earthquakes, Geofluids 15(1/2): p. 216-239. DOI: 10.1111/gfl.12093.
  • Cox, S.C.; Turnbull, I.M.; Isaac, M.J.; Townsend, D.B.; Smith Lyttle, B. (comps) 2012. Geology of southern Victoria Land Antarctica
  • Cox, S.C.; Stirling, M.W.; Herman, F.; Gerstenberger, M.; Ristau, J. 2012. Potentially active faults in the rapidly eroding landscape adjacent to the Alpine Fault, central Southern Alps, New Zealand, Tectonics 31: TC2011. DOI: 10.1029/2011TC003038.
  • Cox, S.C.; Rutter, H.K.; Sims, A.; Manga, M.; Weir, J.J.; Ezzy, T.; White, P.A.; Horton, T.W.; Scott, D. 2012. Hydrological effects of the Mw 7.1 Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake, 4 September 2010, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 55(3): p. 231-247. DOI: 10.1080/00288306.2012.680474.
  • Allen, S.K.; Cox, S.C.; Owens, I.F. 2011. Rock avalanches and other landslides in the central Southern Alps of New Zealand : a regional study considering possible climate change impacts, Landslides 8(1): p. 33-48. DOI: 10.1007/s10346-010-0222-z.
  • Herman, F.; Cox, S.C.; Kamp, P.J.J. 2009. Low-temperature thermochronology and thermokinematic modeling of deformation, exhumation, and development of topography in the central Southern Alps, New Zealand, Tectonics 28: TC5011. DOI: 10.1029/2008TC002367.
  • Cox, S.C.; Sutherland, R. 2007. Regional geological framework of South Island, New Zealand, and its significance for understanding the active plate boundary, A continental plate boundary : tectonics at South Island, New Zealand : p. 19-46.
  • Cox, S.C.; Barrell, D.J.A. (comps) 2007. Geology of the Aoraki area : scale 1:250,000
  • Little, T.A.; Cox, S.C.; Vry, J.K.; Batt, G. 2005. Variations in exhumation level and uplift rate along the oblique-slip Alpine Fault, central Southern Alps, New Zealand, Geological Society of America Bulletin 117(5/6): p. 707-723. DOI: 10.1130/B25500.1.
  • Warr, L.N.; Cox, S.C. 2001. Clay mineral transformations and weakening mechanisms along the Alpine Fault, New Zealand, The nature and tectonic significance of fault zone weakening : p. 85-101.
  • Cox, S.C.; Findlay, R.H. 1995. The Main Divide Fault Zone and its role in formation of the Southern Alps, New Zealand., New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 38(4): p. 489-499.

External Profiles


By continuing with this download you agree to abide by the rules laid out in the Terms and conditions/Terms of use listed on this page.

If there are no specific Terms and conditions/Terms of use listed then please refer to our Copyright and Disclaimer page and Privacy Policy page