Slowly Slipping Earthquakes at the Hikurangi Subduction Zone


Laura Wallace, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics

Tuesday 30 June 2015 at 7:30pm
National Aquarium of New Zealand, Marine Parade Napier

The Hikurangi subduction zone is where the Pacific Plate dives down or “subducts” beneath the eastern North Island. The boundary between the eastern North Island and the Pacific Plate is called the Hikurangi megathrust.  In this pressentation, Laura Wallace will discuss “slow slip events”, which are an exciting new form of fault slip behavior observed on the Hikurangi megathrust beneath the Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Kapiti, and Manawatu regions.

Slow slip events beneath the North Island also have important implications for our understanding of the earthquake and tsunami hazard posed by the Hikurangi megathrust. The talk will also introduce a recent international scientific investigation of slow slip events and earthquakes offshore Gisborne that involved the deployment of 35 seafloor instruments belonging to the United States and Japan. The instruments were deployed between May 2014 and June 2015 to monitor seismicity and seafloor deformation related to slow slip beneath Poverty Bay.

Laura WallaceDr. Laura Wallace is a Research Scientist at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. Prior to joining the University of Texas, Laura was a research scientist at GNS Science in Lower Hutt for nearly a decade.

Laura is one of the scientists from the research vessel “The Roger Revelle” that is doing seismic work on our coast.

Laura uses a variety of methods to investigate deformation of the Earth’s crust at tectonic plate boundaries, with a particular focus on subduction zone plate boundaries.  She undertakes research at various locations in the western Pacific, and she has spent much of her career trying to better understand earthquake processes on the Hikurangi subduction zone beneath the eastern North Island.

Much of her recent work has been focused on investigating “slow slip events”, a recently discovered form of fault slip behavior, which are now known to occur frequently on Hikurangi subduction zone.

Members and friends are inviited to this National Aquarium of New Zealand Lecture

Admission: Gold coin donation

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