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ARTICLE

Investigating earthquakes – introduction

Shaky New Zealand About 14,000 earthquakes are recorded in and around New Zealand every year. Fortunately, most of them are too small for us to feel at the surface. However, many of us have felt ...

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TEACHER PLD

Earthquakes resources – planning pathways

Many New Zealanders have felt the shake of an earthquake, and most students are aware of big earthquakes that have become part of New Zealand's recent history.  Research shows that students are ...

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ARTICLE

On shaky ground – introduction

Discover our Planet Earth and Beyond resources for NZ Curriculum levels 1 and 2 and find out why New Zealand is home to so many earthquakes and volcanoes. New Zealand is often called the Shaky ...

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ARTICLE

Seismic waves

When an earthquake occurs, the shockwaves of released energy that shake the Earth and temporarily turn soft deposits, such as clay, into jelly (liquefaction) are called seismic waves, from the ...

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ARTICLE

Plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes

The Earth rumbles and a hiss of steam issues from the top of Mt Ruapehu. Are these two events related? Is the earthquake caused by the volcano? Or is the steam caused by the earthquake? Tectonic ...

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ARTICLE

How do base isolators work?

Base isolation is a technique developed to prevent or minimise damage to buildings during an earthquake. It has been used in New Zealand, as well as in India, Japan, Italy and the USA. A ...

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ARTICLE

Under the Earth’s surface

The Earth is an enormous place. There is so much that we don’t yet know about what happens on the surface of the Earth, so how could we possibly know about what happens deep down below the ...

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ARTICLE

Plate tectonics

We can blame plate tectonics for many catastrophes over time – earthquakes, volcanoes, geothermal activity, tsunamis and landslides – while people living on mountain ranges or small islands can ...

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ARTICLE

Liquefaction

Liquefaction is a process that temporarily turns firm ground into a liquid. During the Canterbury earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011, liquefaction caused silt and fine sand to boil ...

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ARTICLE

Types of volcanoes

Everyone knows what a volcano looks like – isn’t it a steep-sided cone with wisps of ash coming from the top, just like Rangitoto, White Island, Mt Ngāuruhoe or Mt Ruapehu? But what about small ...

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ARTICLE

The Alpine Fault

In the South Island of New Zealand, the boundary between the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates can be seen on land. This is unlike the North Island boundary, where a subduction zone is under ...

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ARTICLE

Auckland’s volcanoes

The city of Auckland is built on a volcanic field. There are 50 volcanoes within an area of 1,000 square kilometres, forming the hills, lakes and basins of the city. Rangitoto Island was formed ...

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ARTICLE

The moving Earth

Isn’t it funny to think that the Earth is moving! If we stand perfectly still and look into the distance, the Earth appears to be perfectly still, too. But the Earth is actually moving in many ...

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ARTICLE

Magma on the move

The high temperatures (900°C) and extremely high pressures that occur in the mantle layer of the Earth are enough to melt rock. The high pressure changes the rock into a viscous semisolid called ...

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ARTICLE

Earthquakes and volcanoes

We live in a very exciting country. A day’s drive in a car can take us from snowy mountains, past geysers and hot mud pools to white, sandy Pacific beaches. Have you ever wondered why New Zealand ...

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ARTICLE

Inside the Earth

What is happening inside this 12,700 km diameter ball we call the Earth? Some of the Earth’s internal architecture is an 'educated guess' (mainly from seismology), because the longest drill we ...

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ARTICLE

Volcanology methods

Scientists use a range of different methods to learn more about volcanoes. A volcanologist may start by conducting fieldwork, collecting rocks and samples, and then move into the lab to undertake ...

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ARTICLE

Seismic engineering

Seismic engineering is a branch of engineering that searches for ways to make structures, such as buildings and bridges, resistant to earthquake damage. Seismic engineers aim to develop building ...

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ARTICLE

Canterbury earthquakes

An earthquake near Christchurch in September 2010 started a chain of events still being felt over 2 years later. It caused extensive damage to property, and aftershocks also caused injury and ...

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ARTICLE

New Zealand volcanoes

New Zealand has volcanoes stretching from the Bay of Islands down to Otago. Many of our volcanoes are extinct (no longer active), some are dormant (not active but capable of becoming active) and ...

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ARTICLE

New Zealand’s National Science Challenges

As New Zealanders looking to the future, we are faced with many opportunities – and challenges. These include improving the health of all our people, advancing our economic growth, protecting our ...

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