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National Geohazards Monitoring Centre

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A collaboration between Science and Operations

The National Geohazards Monitoring Centre / Te Puna Mōrearea i te Rū (NGMC) provides around-the-clock monitoring of natural geohazards in Aotearoa New Zealand – earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides. 

Powered by GeoNet data

NGMC crew

The NGMC receives live feeds from monitoring equipment located all around Aotearoa New Zealand, provided via the GeoNet system, and data from international stations.

Monitoring and assessing the data

A team of geohazard analysts is on site 24/7 monitoring the data using specialised software. This vigilance allows them to rapidly assess events, improving awareness of what is happening. The centre’s geohazard analysts have a variety of earth science and geographical experience and are supported by some of the world’s best scientists working at GNS Science.

Events can be escalated to on-call duty officers who are scientists within GNS Science. Panels of science experts are convened to advise on earthquakes, tsunami, landslide and volcano events.

NGMC crew

As an event occurs, the NGMC provides timely intelligence to decision-makers in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), improving response times and disaster resilience. The centre has a back-up facility at GNS Science’s Wairakei site. We have an arrangement with GeoScience Australia to monitor our network remotely on our behalf if needed.

With a significant event, every second counts, meaning the work of the NGMC could save lives.

Facts and figures

  • The centre has detected and located many earthquakes – the most frequent geohazard events in New Zealand (20,000-25,000 each year).
  • The location, depth and magnitude of earthquakes is available within minutes.
  • All seismic events detected by the software or the geohazard analysts are captured and catalogued.
  • The tsunami potential of offshore quakes is assessed, including whether there may be a threat of coastal inundation.
  • The centre uses a tsunami scenario database with more than 700 scenarios.
  • Volcanoes are actively monitored and volcanic alert levels applied to define status.
  • GeoNet maintains a rapid response capability for landslides, with a team mobilised for major events.

Support for the centre

The NGMC opened in December 2018. It is hosted by GNS Science in Lower Hutt.

It builds on decades of work which GNS Science has done with the Earthquake Commission and Land Information New Zealand, and is also supported by the National Emergency Management Agency.

The centre is funded through the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Strategic Science Investment Fund.

Read more

News release – National Geohazards Monitoring Centre opens at GNS Science, December 2018
News story – GNS has opened the National Geohazards Monitoring Centre – powered by GeoNet