Modelling tsunami and developing warning systems.

GNS Science works with a number of groups, including NIWA, universities, and private individuals, to improve the knowledge of tsunami hazards in New Zealand.

Research and consultancy expertise

Understanding Tsunami

  • Identify tsunami sources, and modelling tsunami generation, propagation and inundation
  • Studying offshore faults and earthquakes that may produce local tsunami.
  • Identifying tsunamis that have occurred over the past few thousand years around the New Zealand coastline.
    tsunami sign
  • Searching out data on the sources and the damage and wave heights of historical tsunami (the past 200 years). These data are used to calibrate mathematical models of inundation and impact.
    tsunami damage
  • Collaborating with the US agency the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Pacific-wide tsunami, which will eventually allow wave-height predictions in real-time.


  • Tsunami monitoring - early warning of potential tsunami through seismic monitoring
    tsunami damage
  • Tide gauges - water pressure sensors to detect the arrival and height of tsunami waves – vital data for assessing the impacts


  • Learn of the probabilistic risk to New Zealand from tsunamis.
  • Modelling of local tsunami generated by earthquakes, volcanoes and undersea landslides off the New Zealand coast.
  • Determining likely impacts on people buildings and infrastructure
    tsunami damage
  • Modelling the likely long-term economic losses to New Zealand cities from tsunami.

Community resilience

  • Researching the public awareness of geological hazards and the effectiveness of warning systems and public education programmes.
  • Advice on warning systems, public response, education and evacuation
  • Tsunami evacuation mapping projects
tsunami sign

More Information:

More Info:

 2021 Tsunami Hazard report

Tsunami Report 2021

 2013 Tsunami Hazard report

Tsunami Report 2013.pdf (11.10 MB)

2013 All-Coast Tsunami Hazard Data

Evacuation Mapping Reports

Evacuation Mapping Validation Level 2

Evacuation Mapping Validation Level 3

  • GeoNet - real-time New Zealand hazard monitoring

Tsunami Data

Tsunami Hazard Data

2013 National Tsunami Hazard Model

** Data from 2021 model coming soon **