Kate Clarke, Paleoecologist/Earthquake Geologist, GNS Science
“I love discovering new things – for example, uncovering evidence for a past earthquake or tsunami that we would otherwise never know about”
Kate became interested in science when she was studying at University and did an ‘Introduction to Earth Science’ course
Kate is trying to understand where, when and how large past earthquake and tsunamis were that occurred along the Hikurangi margin. She studies the coastline from East Cape to Marlborough looking for evidence of past coastal disturbances – for example, past sudden changes in water levels in sensitive coastal lagoons, sudden uplift of beaches in the form of marine terraces, and tsunami inundation which can deposit marine sediment many hundreds of metres inland. To do this travels all over New Zealand looking at different landforms, sediment sequences, microfossils, and uses radiocarbon dates to constrain the timing of past events.
Kate loves discovering new things – for example, uncovering evidence for a past earthquake or tsunami that we would otherwise never know about. She is currently working on a developing a record of past earthquake and tsunami for the Hikurangi margin and using this to understand the hazard of such events. For Kate the work never stops as there is always more to discover.