The East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) is set to hold a series of science talks that will enable communities on the East Coast of the North Island to learn more about Japan’s earthquake and tsunami early warning system.
The talks, co-supported by Victoria University of Wellington and Hawke’s Bay Royal Society, will feature two of Japan’s leading scientists.
University of Kyoto scientist Dr. Yoshihiro Ito will speak about what scientists have learnt from the Tohoku earthquake in Japan in 2011; and how East Coast residents can use what is picked up from the discussion to understand more about earthquake and tsunami risk in New Zealand.
“The 2011 Tohoku earthquake occurred offshore of Japan, along a subduction zone similar to the subduction zone that lies off the East Coast of New Zealand,” Ito said. “We are attempting to learn more about how these subduction zones behave.”
Dr. Kimihiro Mochizuki, from the University of Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute, meanwhile, will detail the development of Japan’s offshore-cabled observation systems and how these can be used for early warnings for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Both scientists are currently working alongside New Zealand colleagues to study the Hikurangi subduction zone – the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates – which is arguably the country’s most significant active fault that is capable of generating a magnitude 8 plus earthquake, tsunami, coastal uplift and subsidence, landslides and liquefaction.
“Given these leading Japanese scientists will be in New Zealand, it is a great opportunity to hold these science talks so that people can come and learn from Japan’s experiences,” East Coast LAB’s Kate Boersen said.
The talks will be delivered in Wellington on February 28 at Rutherford House (RHLT1), Victoria University of Wellington; and in Napier on March 01 at the LAB, National Aquarium of New Zealand. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions to the scientists.