April 2020 Newsflash #2

Special Interest Groups in focus

The Geoscience Society of New Zealand comprises members, a national committee, branches, subcommittees and Special Interest Groups. 

What are Special Interest Groups? 

Special Interest Groups (or SIGs as we call them) are made up of ten or more Society members with a shared interest in a specific field of Earth science.  Each group provides members with the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals across a common interest, maintaining the over arching purpose of encouraging scientific research and communication.  Each group is led by a convenor, many of whom are national and international experts in their field.  The specific activities and direction of each group are determined by the interests and needs of the members, all of whom are encouraged to contribute their expertise for the benefit of all. 

Currently, active formal groups are: 

We also have a brand new Hydrogeology SIG, lead by Hisham Zarour, Principal Hydrogeologist, Stantec.  Please contact Hisham if you'd like more information or to get involved in this new group.  You can join the Hydrogeology SIG by selecting this on your membership preferences. 

In addition there are three other groups who are seeking new convenors: Geo-education, Oil and Gas, and Geophysics.

What does a Special Interest Group do? 

  • Compile and distribute a focussed newsletter
  • Get together face to face at the annual conference to discuss relevant topics 
  • Convene topic-specific sessions or field trips at the annual conference.

Funding is available for our SIGs, with up to $200 per year available to support general business or administration.  Applications for larger grants to support new initiatives and activities are welcomed and would be considered on a case-by-case basis upon submission of the idea and budget to the GSNZ committee.


Membership of the Historical Studies Group is now FREE

From the start of this year the Journal of the HSG will be published electronically only and therefore the $15 subscription previously charged to cover some of the printing costs has been removed.

The Historical Studies Group aims to document the history of earth science in New Zealand. Their main activity is the production of a newsletter, generally twice a year.

Back copies of the Journal can be found on the GSNZ website.


Slow-slip earthquake studies reveal effect of undersea volcanoes

Rocks from beneath the sea floor and even ancient under-sea volcanoes are providing fresh clues about what could trigger and even muffle potentially large earthquakes.

GSNZ members Laura Wallace and Phil Barnes have been part of a team who've had a first look at the types of rocks directly involved in slow slip earthquakes.

Read more from Radio NZ


Research to pinpoint capital quake danger spots

Why do some parts of Wellington city shake more severely and suffer more damage in a large earthquake than others?

Armed with a gravity meter and a $60,000 Earthquake Commission grant, GSNZ member and Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Professor Tim Stern and Master’s student Alistair Stronach hope to find out how future quakes will affect the ground our capital city is built on. 

Read more from Victoria University of Wellington