Nicola Litchfield


Full Name: Nicola Litchfield

Position: Earthquake Geologist; Head of Department: Active Landscapes

Contact details

Email: N.Litchfield
Phone: +64-4-570 4891


1993: BSc, geology; 1996: MSc(Hons) (1st class honours), geology; 2000: PhD, geology

Areas of expertise

Geology: Earthquake Geology
Geology: GIS mapping
Geology: Geomorphic Hazards
Geology: Paleoseismology
Geology: Quaternary geology
Geology: tectonic geomorphology
Geomorphology: Fluvial terrace mapping
Geomorphology: Landscape evolution

Professional activities

American Geophysical Union: Member
Geoscience Society of New Zealand: Member
Australia/NZ Geomorphology Group: Member
New Zealand Archeolological Association: Member

Major publications

Clark, K.J.; Nissen, E.K.; Howarth, J.D.; Hamling, I.J.; Mountjoy, J.J.; Ries, W.F.; Jones, K.E.; Goldstein, S.; Cochran, U.A.; Villamor, P.; Hreinsdottir, S.; Litchfield, N.J.; Mueller, C.; Berryman, K.R.; Strong, D.T. 2017 Highly variable coastal deformation in the 2016 MW7.8 Kaikoura earthquake reflects rupture complexity along a transpressional plate boundary. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 474: 334-344; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.06.048

Hamling, I.J.; Hreinsdottir, S.; Clark, K.J.; Elliot, J.; Liang, C.; Fielding, E.; Litchfield, N.J.; Villamor, P.; Wallace, L.M.; Wright, T.J.; D'Anastasio, E.; Bannister, S.C.; Burbidge, D.R.; Denys, P.; Gentle, P.; Howarth, J.D.; Mueller, C.; Palmer, N.G.; Pearson, C.; Power, W.L.; Barnes, P.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Langridge, R.M.; Little, T.; Nicol, A.; Pettinga, J.; Rowland, J.; Stirling, M.W. 2017 Complex multifault rupture during the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, New Zealand. Science, 356(6334): eaam7194; doi: 10.1126/science.aam7194

Kaiser, A.E.; Balfour, N.J.; Fry, B.; Holden, C.; Litchfield, N.J.; Gerstenberger, M.C.; D'Anastasio, E.; Horspool, N.A.; McVerry, G.H.; Ristau, J.; Bannister, S.C.; Christophersen, A.; Clark, K.J.; Power, W.L.; Rhoades, D.A.; Massey, C.I.; Hamling, I.J.; Wallace, L.M.; Mountjoy, J.; Kaneko, Y.; Benites, R.A.; Van Houtte, C.; Dellow, G.D.; Wotherspoon, L.; Elwood, K.; Gledhill, K.R. 2017 The 2016 Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake : preliminary seismological report. Seismological Research Letters, 88(3): 1-13; doi: 10.1785/0220170018

Stirling, M.W.; Litchfield, N.J.; Villamor, P.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Nicol, A.; Pettinga, J.; Barnes, P.; Langridge, R.M.; Little, T.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Mountjoy, J.; Ries, W.F.; Rowland, J.; Fenton, C.; Hamling, I.J.; Asher, C.; Barrier, A.; Benson, A.; Bischoff, A.; Borella, J.; Carne, R.; Cochran, U.A.; Cockroft, M.; Cox, S.C.; Duke, G.; Fenton, F.; Gasston, C.; Grimshaw, C.; Hale, D.; Hall, B.; Hao, K.X.; Hatem, A.; Hemphill-Haley, M.; Heron, D.W.; Howarth, J.D.; Juniper, Z.; Kane, T.; Kearse, J.; Khajavi, N.; Lamarche, G.; Lawson, S.; Lukovic, B.; Madugo, C.; Manousakis, J.; McColl, S.; Noble, D.; Pedley, K.; Sauer, K.; Stahl, T.; Strong, D.T.; Townsend, D.B.; Toy, V.G.; Villeneuve, M.; Wandres, A.; Williams, J.; Woelz, S.; Zinke, R. 2017 The Mw7.8 Kaikoura earthquake : surface fault rupture and seismic hazard context. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(2): 73-84

Kuehl, S.A.; Alexander, C.R.; Blair, N.E.; Harris, C.K.; Marsaglia, K.M.; Ogston, A.S.; Orpin, A.R.; Roering, J.J.; Bever, A.J.; Bilderback, E.L.; Carter, L.; Cerovski-Darriau, C.; Childress, L.B.; Corbett, D.R.; Hale, R.P.; Leithold, E.L.; Litchfield, N.J.; Moriarty, J.M.; Page, M.J.; Perce, L.E.R.; Upton, P.; Walsh, J.P. 2016 A source-to-sink perspective of the Waipaoa River Margin. Earth-Science Reviews, 153: 301-334; doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.10.001

Langridge, R.M.; Ries, W.F.; Litchfield, N.J.; Villamor, P.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Rattenbury, M.S.; Heron, D.W.; Haubrock, S.; Townsend, D.B.; Lee, J.M.; Berryman, K.R.; Nicol, A.; Cox, S.C.; Stirling, M.W. 2016 The New Zealand Active Faults Database. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 59(1): 86-96; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2015.1112818

Christophersen, A.; Litchfield, N.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Thomas, R.; Basili, R.; Wallace, L.M.; Ries, W.; Hayes, G.P.; Haller, K.M.; Yoshioka, T.; Koehler, R.D.; Clark, D.; Wolfson-Schwehr, M.; Boettcher, M.S.; Villamor, P.; Horspool, N.A.; Ornthammarath, T.; Zuniga, R.; Langridge, R.M.; Stirling, M.W.; Goded, T.; Costa, C.; Yeats, R. 2015 Development of the Global Earthquake Model's neotectonic fault database. Natural hazards, 79(1): 111-135; doi: 10.1007/s11069-015-1831-6

Hayward, B.W.; Sabaa, A.T.; Grenfell, H.R.; Cochran, U.A.; Clark, K.J.; Litchfield, N.J.; Wallace, L.M.; Marden, M.; Palmer, A.S. 2015 Foraminiferal record of Holocene paleo-earthquakes on the subsiding south-western Poverty Bay coastline, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 58(2): 104-122; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2014.992354

Litchfield, N.J.; Clark, K.J. 2015 Fluvial terrace formation in the lower Awhea and Pahaoa River valleys, New Zealand : implications for tectonic and sea-level controls. Geomorphology, 231: 212-228; doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.12.009

Litchfield, N.J.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Sutherland, R.; Barnes, P.M.; Cox, S.C.; Norris, R.; Beavan, R.J.; Langridge, R.M.; Villamor, P.; Berryman, K.R.; Stirling, M.W.; Nicol, A.; Nodder, S.; Lamarche, G.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Pettinga, J.R.; Little, T.; Pondard, N.; Mountjoy, J.J.; Clark, K.J. 2014 A model of active faulting in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 57(1): 32-56; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2013.854256

Upton, P.; Kettner, A.J.; Gomez, B.; Orpin, A.R.; Litchfield, N.J.; Page, M.J. 2013 Simulating post-LGM riverine fluxes to the coastal zone : the Waipaoa River system, New Zealand. Computers & geosciences, 53: 48-57; doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.02.001

Quigley, M.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Litchfield, N.J.; Villamor, P.; Duffy, B.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Furlong, K.; Stahl, T.; Bilderback, E.; Noble, D. 2012 Surface rupture during the 2010 Mw 7.1 Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake : implications for fault rupture dynamics and seismic-hazard analysis. Geology, 40(1): 55-58; doi: 10.1130/G32528.1

Stirling, M.W.; McVerry, G.H.; Gerstenberger, M.C.; Litchfield, N.J.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Barnes, P.; Wallace, L.M.; Villamor, P.; Langridge, R.M.; Lamarche, G.; Nodder, S.; Reyners, M.E.; Bradley, B.; Rhoades, D.A.; Smith, W.D.; Nicol, A.; Pettinga, J.; Clark, K.J.; Jacobs, K. 2012 National seismic hazard model for New Zealand : 2010 update. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 102(4): 1514-1542; doi: 10.1785/0120110170

Berryman, K.R.; Ota, Y.; Miyauchi, T.; Hull, A.; Clark, K.J.; Ishibashi, K.; Iso, N.; Litchfield, N.J. 2011 Holocene paleoseismic history of upper-plate faults in the southern Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand, deduced from marine terrace records. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 101(5): 2064-2087; doi: 10.1785/0120100282

Clark, K.J.; Johnson, P.N.; Turnbull, I.M.; Litchfield, N.J. 2011 The 2009 Mw 7.8 earthquake on the Puysegur subduction zone produced minimal geological effects around Dusky Sound, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 54(2): 237-247; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2010.543690

Robinson, R.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Litchfield, N.J. 2011 Using synthetic seismicity to evaluate seismic hazard in the Wellington region, New Zealand. Geophysical Journal International, 187(1): 510-528; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05161.x

Berryman, K.R.; Marden, M.; Palmer, A.; Wilson, K.J.; Mazengarb, C.; Litchfield, N.J. 2010 The post-glacial downcutting history in the Waihuka tributary of Waipaoa River, Gisborne district : implications for tectonics and landscape evolution in the Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand. Marine Geology, 270(1-4): 55-71; doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2009.10.001

Litchfield, N.J.; Van Dissen. R.J.; Hemphill-Haley, M.; Townsend, D.B.; Heron, D.W. 2010 Post c.300 year rupture of the Ohariu Fault in Ohariu Valley, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 53(1): 43-56

Litchfield, N.J.; Wilson, K.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Wallace, L.M. 2010 Coastal uplift mechanisms at Pakarae River mouth : constraints from a combined Holocene fluvial and marine terrace dataset. Marine Geology, 270(1-4): 72-83; doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2009.10.003

Berryman, K.R.; Marden, M.; Palmer, A.; Litchfield, N.J. 2009 Holocene rupture of the Repongaere Fault, Gisborne : implications for Raukumara Peninsula deformation and impact on the Waipaoa Sedimentary System. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 52(4): 335-347; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2009.9518462

Litchfield, N.J.; Ota, Y.; Merritts, D. 2009 Tectonic uplift and subsidence. p. 116-141 IN: Connor, C.B.; Chapman, N.A.; Connor, L.J. (eds) Volcanic and tectonic hazard assessment for nuclear facilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Litchfield, N.J.; Smith, W.D.; Berryman, K.R. 2009 Return times for high levels of ground-shaking (>/- MM7) in the Waipaoa and Waitaki River catchments. Lower Hutt: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2009/03. 87 p.

Stirling, M.W.; Berryman, K.R.; Wallace, L.M.; Litchfield, N.J.; Beavan, R.J.; Smith, W.D. 2009 Multi-disciplinary probabilistic tectonic hazard analysis. p. 257-275 IN: Connor, C.B.; Chapman, N.A.; Connor, L.J. (eds) Volcanic and tectonic hazard assessment for nuclear facilities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Wallace, L.M.; Reyners, M.E.; Cochran, U.A.; Bannister, S.C.; Barnes, P.M.; Berryman, K.R.; Downes, G.L.; Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Fagereng, A.; Ellis, S.M.; Nicol, A.; McCaffrey, R.; Beavan, R.J.; Henrys, S.A.; Sutherland, R.; Barker, D.H.N.; Litchfield, N.J.; Townend, J.; Robinson, R.; Bell, R.E.; Wilson, K.J.; Power, W.L. 2009 Characterizing the seismogenic zone of a major plate boundary subduction thrust : Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 10(10): Q10006; doi: 10.1029/2009GC002610

Litchfield, N.J. 2008 Using fluvial terraces to determine Holocene coastal erosion and Late Pleistocene uplift rates : an example from northwestern Hawke Bay, New Zealand. Geomorphology, 99(1-4): 369-386; doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.12.001

Litchfield, N.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Brackley, H.L.; Carter, L.; Marden, M.; Page, M.J.; Trustrum, N.A. 2008 The Waipaoa sedimentary system : research review and future directions. p. 408-416 IN: Schmidt, J.; Cochrane, T.; Phillips, C.; Elliott, S.; Davies, T.; Basher, L. (eds) Sediment dynamics in changing environments. Wallingford, UK: IAHS. IAHS publication 325.

Alloway, B.V.; Lowe, D.J.; Barrell, D.J.A.; Newnham, R.M.; Almond, P.C.; Augustinus, P.C.; Bertler, N.A.N.; Carter, L.; Litchfield, N.J.; McGlone, M.S.; Shulmeister, J.; Vandergoes, M.J.; Williams, P.W.; NZ-INTIMATE members 2007 Towards a climate event stratigraphy for New Zealand over the past 30,000 years (NZ-INTIMATE project). Journal of Quaternary Science, 22(1): 9-35

Litchfield, N.J.; Ellis, S.M.; Berryman, K.R.; Nicol, A. 2007 Insights into subduction-related uplift along the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand, using numerical modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface, 112(F2): F02021; doi: 10.1029/2006JF000535

Litchfield, N.J.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Nicol, A. 2007 Reassessment of slip rate and implications for surface rupture hazard of the Martinborough Fault, south Wairarapa, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 50(3): 239-243

Wilson, K.J.; Litchfield, N.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Little, T.A. 2007 Distribution, age, and uplift patterns of Pleistocene marine terraces of the northern Raukumara Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 50(3): 181-191

Litchfield, N.J.; Berryman, K.R. 2006 Relations between postglacial fluvial incision rates and uplift rates in the North Island, New Zealand. Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface, 111(2): F02007; doi: 10.1029/2005JF000374

Litchfield, N.J.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Heron, D.W.; Rhoades, D.A. 2006 Constraints on the timing of the three most recent surface rupture events and recurrence interval for the Ohariu Fault : trenching results from MacKays Crossing, Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 49(1): 57-61

Wilson, K.J.; Berryman, K.R.; Litchfield, N.J.; Little, T. 2006 A revision of mid-late Holocene marine terrace distribution and chronology at the Pakarae River mouth, North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 49(4): 477-489

Litchfield, N.J.; Berryman, K.R. 2005 Correlation of fluvial terraces within the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand : implications for climate and baselevel controls. Geomorphology, 68(3/4): 291-313

Litchfield, N.J.; Rieser, U. 2005 Optically stimulated luminescence age constraints for fluvial aggradation terraces and loess in the eastern North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 48(4): 581-589

Litchfield, N.J.; Lian, O.B. 2004 Luminescence age estimates of Pleistocene marine terrace and alluvial fan sediments associated with tectonic activity along coastal Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 47(1): 29-37

Litchfield, N.J.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Langridge, R.M.; Heron, D.W.; Prentice, C. 2004 Timing of the most recent surface rupture event on the Ohariu Fault near Paraparaumu, New Zealand : short communication. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 47(1): 123-127; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2004.9515041

Litchfield, N.J.; Campbell, J.K.; Nicol, A. 2003 Recognition of active reverse faults and folds in North Canterbury, New Zealand, using structural mapping and geomorphic analysis. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 46(4): 563-579

Litchfield, N.J.; Craw, D.; Koons, P.O.; Edge, B.; Perraudin, E.; Peake, B. 2002 Geology and geochemistry of groundwater flow within the Taieri Basin, east Otago, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 45(4): 481-497

Litchfield, N.J. 2001 The Titri Fault System : Quaternary-active faults near the leading edge of the Otago reverse fault province. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 44(4): 517-534

Litchfield, N.J.; Norris, R.J. 2000 Holocene motion on the Akatore Fault, south Otago coast, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 43(3): 405-418

  Image of Nicola Litchfield