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Geohazards 2016

Geohazards: earthquakes, landslides, tsunami.


Get ready to explore in and around the alpine fault, one of the world's fastest moving faults. Experts will take you to remote locations to help you better understand what causes natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and tsunami and how you can manage the risk of these events.

New Zealand sits on the boundary between the moving Pacific and Indo Australian Plate. These plates continue to shape our amazing landscape, creating spectacular mountains, valleys and lakes. During this field trip you will discover the power of these geological forces as you look at the evidence left behind in the Franz Josef landscape, see active landslide areas and investigate the cause and effects of tsunami.

This LEARNZ trip is the eighth in a series on geohazards that have included the Auckland volcanic field, Wellington and Canterbury Earthquakes, Bay of Plenty and Marlborough.

Watch the introductory video on Vimeo.


The South Island's Alpine Fault is a very distinct feature along most of its length. This is because the Southern Alps have been uplifted along their eastern side, making the fault clearly visible from space. The West Coast town of Franz Josef is located directly above the alpine fault so is an ideal place to study New Zealand's largest seismic hazard.

Field Trip Plan - August 2016

Monday 8 August Read the diary about the travel day from Dunedin to the West Coast to begin the Geohazards field trip. Spend a night in Arthur's Pass Village before continuing on to Hari Hari. Read the ambassador updates.

Tuesday 9 August

Meet experts from the University of Canterbury and investigate geohazards. Read the diary about what causes geohazards. Watch the videos about the world's fastest moving fault. Read the ambassador updates and listen to the enhanced audioconference.

Wednesday 10 August Watch the videos to discover what other geohazards exist in this West Coast region and what might happen when the Alpine Fault next ruptures. Read the diary about landslides and tsunami. Read the ambassador updates and listen to the enhanced audioconference.
Thursday 11 August Watch the videos to find out what an Alpine Fault earthquake could do to Franz Josef. Read the diary to see what is being done to manage the risks of an Alpine Fault earthquake and investigate what you can do in your own community to prepare for possible geohazards. Read the ambassador updates and listen to the enhanced audioconference.