Back to top

Soil testing to understand earthquake shaking

Untitled design 3

A Napier researcher is carrying out soil testing across Hawke’s Bay to help inform and improve the assessment of potential shaking characteristics of future earthquakes.

Philip Girgis, a student at the University of Auckland says he is using a seismometer instrument that measures very small vibrations created from natural and human made activities to better understand how it effects earthquake shaking. 

The equipment is either placed on the ground or buried in a shallow hand dug hole and records these small vibrations for around 30 minutes. Once the test is complete the equipment is removed and there are no lasting effects.

Dr Liam Wotherspoon from the University of Auckland says the testing is being carried out at a number of locations around Napier and Hastings and across the wider region through to the end of February next year.

“This method will enable us to better understand the overall stiffness and depth of the soil profile above rock at these locations to help inform our research. We will then look to use more detailed methods to further develop our understanding of the soils across the region,” says Dr Wotherspoon.

Past earthquakes across New Zealand and the world have shown that the soil profile has a significant influence on the potential shaking.

By collecting this data, the research can inform current building design practice and provides the basis for the simulation of potential future earthquakes using modelling approaches that are being developed by QuakeCoRE

This research is part of the QuakeCoRE centre of research excellence in earthquake resilience, a project partner of East Coast LAB.

Back to News

Getting in Touch

East Coast Lab
159 Dalton Street, Private Bag 6006 Napier, 4142
P: +64 6 835 9200
More Contact Details

Site Map


Get Involved


East Coast Lab Hikurangi Subduction Zone M9 - Copyright © 2024

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the East Coast Lab Hikurangi Subduction Zone M9 to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, East Coast Lab Hikurangi Subduction Zone M9 shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. East Coast Lab Hikurangi Subduction Zone M9 cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© East Coast Lab Hikurangi Subduction Zone M9 - / +64 6 835 9200 /