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‘Beneath New Zealand’ Airs (June 2019)

Prime TV airs the ‘Beneath NZ’ episodes starting Sunday, 9 June at 8:30 pm. The series focuses on NZ’s volcanism, past, present, and future.

The third episode focuses on Auckland and features quite a few DEVORA researchers and findings:

Volcanic Fingerprints (Jan 2019)

Volcanic ash has a chemical signature that is unique to its source. DEVORA researcher Dr Jenni Hopkins is using this trait to reconstruct the eruption history of the Auckland Volcanic Field.

The worst natural disaster risks facing New Zealand (Jan 2019)

DEVORA and many of our talented researchers feature in this magazine article describing, amongst other NZ hazards, an Auckland eruption.

Errors in Newshub graphic (Jan 2019)

Newshub created a 3D graphic depicting the Auckland Volcanic Field. This graphic contains several significant errors, including:

–the population of Auckland is not ~4.7 million. According to Statistics NZ, it is ~1.6 million

–we do not think that the Auckland Domain is the oldest volcano; Pupuke is probably the oldest at approximately 190,000 years old

–the eruption order was created by Dr Jenni Hopkins for her PhD research (see here:

(Note: this article has since been removed)


Christchurch lava lab could help prepare for Auckland eruption (Dec 2018)

Researchers at Canterbury University are creating their own lava flows for experiments. The results have implications for Auckland in future eruptions.

Auckland Ascent Rates – How Much Warning Time Will We Have? (July 2018)

Dr. Marco Brenna, a researcher with Otago University, recently published a paper on how diffusion in olivine crystals suggests that magma ascent in the Auckland Volcanic Field may happen quite rapidly. While we knew from geochemical evidence, models, and related studies of other volcanic areas that magma ascent was likely to be fast (days to weeks) in Auckland, this study is the first to use Auckland samples to estimate how quickly magma rises from the mantle to the surface. The article received some press:

Deadly Base Surge Research Commences (July 2018)

Dr Stuart Mead (Massey) is researching the deadliest threat associated with Auckland eruptions: volcanic base surges, and this caused a media stir. Surges are destructive clouds of hot gas and ash that form when water and magma mix. We see evidence of surges at ~80% of Auckland volcanoes. Stuart’s research is supported by the Earthquake Commission in a separate but affiliated project. The EQC is a great supporter of DEVORA and a lot of other research projects focused on understanding the threats posed by the Auckland Volcanic Field. We look forward to hearing about Stuart’s findings!

Press Release: The current eruption of Kilauea: Could it happen in Auckland? (May 2018)

The current eruption of Kīlauea volcano on Hawai‘i has provided some spectacular footage of cracks opening in roads, fountains of glowing lava, and billowing clouds of gas – and has people wondering whether such activity could occur in Auckland. We thought this would be a great opportunity to explain how this latest eruption on Hawai‘i compares with what we might expect in Auckland if our volcanic field reactivates.

Related Press Articles and TV Coverage:


Simulating a Possible Eruption in Auckland (September 2017)

This week, University of Auckland students participated in a simulation of an Auckland Volcanic Field eruption. After a day in the field, they took on the challenge of guiding the city through several months of preparation and the eruption itself. Learn more by listening to Prof Kathy Campbell’s interview with Radio New Zealand here.

Will your roof withstand flying volcanic rocks?(July 2017)

UC researchers are exploring the consequences of flying volcanic rocks (“ballistics”) on building materials. This is truly “groundbreaking” research that garnered both TV and radio coverage in June/July. Check out the links below to find out more:

AVF Eruption History Decoded (July 2017)

Fourty-eight of Auckland’s 53 volcanic centres can now be placed in order. To do this, researchers devised new and improved techniques to figure out the eruptive history of the Auckland Volcanic Field, with some surprising findings. Their findings were summarized in two papers, which both garnered media attention. The two articles can be found here and here. To read the press articles or listen to the radio interview see the links below:

DEVORA Publication is Most Downloaded JVGR Article in 2016 (May 2017)

“Volcanic Hazard Impacts to Critical Infrastructure: A Review”, a DEVORA article by Grant Wilson, has been named as JVGR’s most downloaded article for 2016. It’s been downloaded ~10,500 since it’s publication in 2014. That’s quite an achievement and we’re really excited for Grant and the Canterbury team! For more information, click here.

Shortland Street’s Explosive 25th Anniversary Episode (May 2017)

For the 25th anniversary episode of Shortland Street, the cast of characters had to contend with a volcanic eruption. GNS science was consulted to ensure that the scenario was as realistic as possible. For more information on how the TV show handled the volcanology, check out the Stuff article here.

DEVORA Featured on The Panel with Jim Mora (May 2017)

On May 26th, The Panel with Jim Mora did a short segment on whether or not there will always be warning prior to an AVF eruption. Natalia Deligne explained that GNS monitors the Auckland Volcanic Field through Geonet and that we can expect anywhere from a few hours to few weeks of detectable unrest. See the link below to check out the segment:

The Impacts of an AVF Eruption (April 2017)

Daniel Blake’s recent paper on the impact of an AVF eruption to the Auckland transport network has caused quite a stir. The paper, titled “Investigating the consequences of urban volcanism using a scenario approach II: Insights into transportation network damage and functionality”, is the second part of the AVF Scenario Series and follow’s Natalia Deligne’s earlier paper. To read some of the recent news articles about the work, check out the links below:

DEVORA Outreach in the News! (March 2017)

On April 2, the DEVORA outreach team participated in the MOTAT Science Street fair. Click here to read the MOTAT Press Release about the event.

Investigating the Consequences of an AVF Eruption Using Scenarios (March 2017)

Natalia Deligne’s paper “Investigating the consequences of urban volcanism using a scenario approach I: Development and application of a hypothetical eruption in the Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand” was just published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. The paper details what might happen in Auckland if the city was impacted by a volcanic eruption in the Mangere Bridge area. Specifically, it focuses on the potential impacts and outcomes of such activity on eletricity service provision throughout the region. As expected, the paper generated a lot of media interest. Check out the links below to read some of the recent articles or listen to the radio interviews:

Cities on Volcano 9: Let’s Talk with Scientists! (February 2017)

In November 2016, several DEVORA volcanologists attended Cities on Volcanoes, an annual conference focused on the impact of volcanic activity on urban environments around the globe. Emma Hunt from Auckland CDEM also attended the conference, which focused heavily on communicating science to practitioners and communities. To learn more, please read the CDEM E-bulletin here.


How Auckland volcanoes Could Erupt (December 2016)

Based on Gabor Kerestzuri’s recent work, journalists from the NZ Herald have created an interactive map which highlights the linkages between Auckland’s subsurface geology and the type of expected future eruption in any given area of the city. Herald Insights is a new interactive, data driven forum where “stories are told through text, interactive graphics and maps”. This is the first DEVORA work to be presented as an ‘Insight’. Click on the link below to read the article and see the map:

Probing the History of New Zealand’s Orakei Maar (September 2016)

Over 2 weeks in February 2016, DEVORA team members and their collaborators drilled two ~100 m-long cores into the sediments at the bottom of Auckland’s Orakei Basin, a volcanic explosion crater-turned-lake basin. We were able to recover the collected lake bed sediments all the way down to the original volcanic deposits from Orakei Basin’s eruption. Here is a great article describing a little more about what we are doing with the cores, and why we wanted to drill:

Developing volcanic hazard and risk models for the AVF (July 2016)

Natalia Deligne has finished her post-doc looking at the short term impacts of a volcanic eruption occurring within Auckland. Her work shows the importance of the RiskScape tool and of creating detailed scenarios.

Rangitoto: Not What We Expected (March 2016)

The results of the Rangitoto Drilling Project indicate the history of the volcano may be far more complex than scientists originally thought. New ages obtained from the 150m core suggest that the island may be ~6000 years old rather than just 500. Phil Shane, the project leader, suspects that Rangitoto may actually be a cluster of several smaller volcanoes rather than one larger edifice.

Auckland one of the best prepared English-speaking cities in the world

Dr Allan Bonner, expert in Crisis Management, ranked Auckland the best prepared English-speaking city in the world, based on the Auckland Emergency Management’s Emergency Management Group Plan 2010 – 2015. This ranking made the news and is included in Dr Bonner’s book, Safer Cities of the Future. Dr Bonner cited AEM’s recognition of volcanic risk as one of the reasons for the ranking.

Orakei Drilling Project: Delving Deep into History (February 2016)

As part of grant to reconstruct Auckland’s climate history, scientists from the University of Auckland, Victoria University, and GNS drilled >100 m into the center of Orakei Basin. Samples retrieved from the drilling not only provide a detailed record of climate fluctuations but also of the volcanic history of the region. The core, which potentially spans >140,000 years, will help map out in unprecedented detail past AVF eruptions.

What happens if Auckland’s volcanoes erupt? (January 2016)

Dr Jenni Hopkins was interviewed about her latest research by Radio New Zealand. In the interview, she discusses how researchers study AVF volcanoes and gives an overview of the upcoming Orakei drilling project. Click here to listen to the interview.


Predicting the Impact of an Auckland Eruption (December 2015)

Recent DEVORA PhD graduate, Dr Jenni Hopkins, has had her research findings profiled in several news articles. Her PhD focused on correlating ash found in lake cores around Auckland to source volcanoes to better understand the order of eruptions in Auckland, and the impact that they had (e.g. how far ash/deposits from each volcano traveled, and their thicknesses). Her research is instrumental in creating an age order for the volcanoes to better understand the evolution of the field, and to figure out how ash and other volcanic deposits may affect Auckland during future eruptions (for example, how far did ash/deposits travel from each volcano? How thick are they ‘x’ kilometers away from the vent?).

Economic Impacts of an Auckland Eruption Studied (May 2015)

DEVORA/IIOF researchers Shane Cronin and Garry McDonald’s economic modelling indicate that the disturbance an eruption would cause in certain areas of Auckland would lead to a greater impact on the economy than in other locations. See the NZ Herald article here:

What Areas of Auckland are Susceptible to Explosive Eruptive Activity? (May 2015)

New research by former DEVORA/IIOF PhD Gabor Kereszturi highlights a method that can be used to create an ‘explosive eruption susceptibility’ map for Auckland. The preliminary map, used as an example of what the conceptual model can show, identifies zones that are more likely to produce explosive style eruption behaviours (such as base surges) IF an eruption were to occur in these areas. Highly susceptible zones are not more likely to be the location of future eruptions necessarily, and a lot of data still needs to be added to the model to refine these results. The original article can be read in full here.

Read about the research as covered by the press here:

Hear About ‘Auckland’s Volcanic Risk’ (April 2015)

Listen to volcanologist Jan Lindsay describe the base surge deposits and eruption at Glover Park, what we know about how Auckland’s volcanoes behave, and what we’d expect from the next Auckland eruption on Radio New Zealand National’s ‘Our Changing World’ programme:

Red for Danger (April 2015)

This article describes Mary Anne Thompson‘s work on how hazard map design choices influence the communication of hazard.

The Fire Beneath Us (January 2015)

This in-depth article, two years in the making, describes and illustrates the Auckland Volcanic Field and the DEVORA research programme like never before.

Preparing for the volcano in your backyard: New Zealand sets an example (December 2014)

DEVORA researcher Natalia Deligne was invited to write an opinion piece for EARTH Magazine. The piece provides a fantastic overview of the DEVORA and RiskScape research programmes, ongoing as we ‘wait for the inevitable: a local volcanic eruption.’


Auckland Eruption Exercise Makes Headlines (September 2014)

A story and photos of the annual eruption exercise was chosen for the cover story of CDEM Impact, a quarterly magazine for NZ’s civil defence sector.

Profiles of a DEVORA Researcher and an Emergency Manager (July 2014)

Geologist Sandie Will, author of the Rock-Head Sciences blog, profiled Elaine Smid as part of her ‘A Day in the Life’ series. Elaine gave a summary of her typical work day for DEVORA. Richard Woods, the DEVORA Steering Committee member representing the Auckland Council Emergency Management and Civil Defence Group, also participated in the series. Together these interviews give a great summary of research and policy roles and how they interact cooperatively. The blog is aimed at students and others interested in geology.

Auckland ash clean up research (July 2014)

DEVORA MSc Josh Hayes won the University of Canterbury’s Tweet Your Thesis contest for tweeting about his Auckland ash cleanup research:

Ash clean-up of Jacobacci, Argentina after the 2012 eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex, Chile.

Ash clean-up of Jacobacci, Argentina after the 2012 eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex, Chile.

Auckland Evacuation: What to expect (April 2014)

 journal article by UoA’s Erik Tomsen and other DEVORA researchers was published. The article summarizes Erik’s MSc project examining transport patterns during an evacuation due to a volcanic eruption in the Auckland Volcanic Field:

Drilling into the Past: Rangitoto Volcano (February 2014)

There was a great level of interest in this EQC-funded study led by Phil Shane at the University of Auckland:

Click here for press prior to 2014.