• Articles
  • Activities
  • Interactives
  • Videos
  • Teacher PLD
  • Primary
  • Secondary
ARTICLE

Types of volcanic rock

Rocks are not all the same. Some are heavy, some are light. Others are dark, while some can be almost pure white. Even igneous rocks that are all formed from magma in the Earth’s mantle can look ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Behaviour of waves

All waves behave in certain characteristic ways. They can undergo refraction, reflection, interference and diffraction. These basic properties define the behaviour of a wave – anything that ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Fundamentals of waves

Seeing, hearing, feeling warmth, surfing, tuning the radio, using a cellphone – these and many more activities involve waves. But what is a wave? In this article, we get to grips with the ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Reading rock core samples

One important question that the scientists like Dr Phil Shane at The University of Auckland are asking is: “When did the volcanoes in Auckland last erupt?” Answering this question will help them ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
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 ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Volcanoes – timeline

Uncovering our explosive past - a look at some of the historical aspects of volcanoes in New Zealand. 10 million BC - Mt Cargill erupts Mt Cargill near Dunedin erupts, forming the Organ Pipes. 6 ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

What are slow slips?

Usually we know that earthquakes have occurred by shaking of the ground and objects, obvious ground movement or by seismometer readings but scientists have discovered to their surprise that large ...

READ MORE
STAR