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Geology news archive 2015

Harriet Love  2015 Blake NIWA Ambassador - Freshwater Award

Friday, 4 December 2015 9:36am

Since 2008, The Sir Peter Blake Trust - in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand, the Antarctic Heritage Trust, NIWA and the Department of Conservation - has provided opportunities for young New Zealanders to work on projects in Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and New Zealand through the Blake Ambassador Programme.

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Otago researchers describe new North Pacific fossil whale

Wednesday, 2 December 2015 11:42am

A new species of fossil baleen whale that lived in the North Pacific Ocean 30 to 33 million years ago has been described by researchers from the University of Otago.

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Growing Antarctic ice sheet caused ancient Mediterranean to dry up

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 10:17am

A University of Otago-led international research team has resolved the mystery of the processes involved in the Mediterranean Sea drying up around 5.6 million years ago.

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James White made full Professor

Friday, 6 November 2015 9:57am

Congratulations to James White on his appointment to the position of Professor, effective from 1 February 2016. A thoroughly well-deserved promotion.

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NZ scientists saddle up for 350km Antarctic road trip (NZ Herald Article)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015 11:30am

A bit of Kiwi ingenuity and an epic road trip will ultimately help a team of New Zealand scientists understand how Antarctica's vast Ross Ice Shelf might respond to future warming under climate change.
An Otago University-led research team is this month heading down to the frozen continent, where they'll drive tracked Hagglund vehicles and snowmobiles 350km from Scott Base to a field site atop what, at roughly the size of France, is the world's largest ice shelf.

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Otago researchers identify new NZ fossil whale species

Friday, 11 September 2015 11:41am

University of Otago palaeontology researchers are continuing to rewrite the history of New Zealand’s ancient whales by describing two further genera and three species of fossil baleen whales.

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Sandbox experiments used to model orogenic wedges in GEOL275/375 Rock deformation lab

Friday, 21 August 2015 1:29pm

The rock deformation class (Geol275-375) made some orogenic wedges this week: shortening layers of sand in a box to create folds and thrusts. It’s what structural geologists call an analogue model.

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Acoustic mapping shaking things up in South Dunedin (ODT Article)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015 10:53am

Trail-blazing geological research which started yesterday is expected to shed light on previously unknown earthquake risk factors, including a possible ancient fault zone, under South Dunedin.

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Acoustic tool tested before polar research (ODT Article)

Monday, 3 August 2015 10:06am

Many new vehicles have been tested at Cardrona's Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds but, until Saturday, they have moved on wheels, not skis.

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New seismic source "thumper" tested at Waikouaiti Beach

Friday, 12 June 2015 9:42am

After a few initial delays, we made it out to Waikouaiti Beach to finally test our new seismic source! The new weight drop seismic source (a thumper) will be used for research on seismic hazards with focus on identifying buried faults, determining sedimentary basin and aquifer geometries and evaluating rock formations for landslide hazards.

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Secrets of ancient NZ volcanoes revealed (NZ Herald Article)

Thursday, 11 June 2015 12:31pm

The world was left captivated by an island that was rapidly and dramatically created by an underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga in March. But new research has suggested something similar - yet perhaps more remarkable - once took place right here in New Zealand. Ben Moorhouse (Otago PhD student) has revealed the bizarre history of ancient eruptions from different volcanoes over millions of years apart

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Subduction Thrust Investigation of New Zealand using Geothermics and Seismics (STINGS) Cruise

Monday, 8 June 2015 1:48pm

The objective of this science cruise is to collect heat flow and seismic reflection data offshore the eastern margin of the North Island, New Zealand to develop a better understanding of this region, known as the Hikurangi subduction zone.

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Ganges river dolphin distant cousin of ancient New Zealand one

Tuesday, 2 June 2015 12:00pm

A newly described ancient marine dolphin fossil from the Waitaki region is of the same superfamily as the endangered Ganges river dolphin, according to University of Otago research.

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Otago appoints first Professor of Earthquake Science

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:52pm

A leading New Zealand seismologist has been appointed as the University of Otago’s inaugural Professor of Earthquake Science.

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University of Otago Large Lake & Fjord Coring System

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 10:51am

The Geology Department recently acquired a UWITEC® percussion piston corer and coring platform that will be used to obtain continuous sediment cores from large lakes and fjords in New Zealand and abroad.

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Whale family tree catalogued (ODT Article)

Friday, 17 April 2015 10:35am

New University of Otago research is providing the most comprehensive picture of the nearly 40million year-long evolutionary history of baleen whales, which are the largest animals ever to live on Earth. The study also reflected the importance of ancient marine mammal research being undertaken at the university, Prof Ewan Fordyce, of the Otago geology department, said.

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Underwater volcano research excites scientists (ODT Article)

Friday, 17 April 2015 11:38am

A world-first international expedition, including University of Otago researchers, is ending, after scientists gained striking new views of an underwater volcano in the Kermadec Islands.
The research expedition was investigating the biggest recorded explosive eruption of a submarine volcano in history, which in 2012 produced a floating pumice island the size of Israel.
Otago University geology researcher Associate Prof James White said this ''very exciting cruise'' had also been the first time ''anywhere on Earth'' that a remotely operated undersea vehicle had been used to investigate a ''large explosive submarine eruption''.

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Otago research details 40 million-year-old family tree of baleen whales

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 4:37pm

New University of Otago research is providing the most comprehensive picture of the evolutionary history of baleen whales, which are not only the largest animals ever to live on earth, but also among the most unusual.

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New Zealand’s first Princeton Instruments Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM)

Friday, 27 February 2015 12:00am

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Missing fossil link connection exciting (ODT article)

Thursday, 19 February 2015 12:00am

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Oldest fur seal identified, ending 5-million-year ‘ghost lineage’

Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:24am

The oldest known fur seal has been discovered by a University of Otago Geology PhD student, providing a missing link that helps to resolve a more than 5-million-year gap in fur seal and sea lion evolutionary history.

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Deep Fault Drilling Project 2 News

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 8:45am

The Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP) is an international science experiment studying the Alpine Fault in western South Island. “DFDP-2” refers to the second phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project and to the 1.3 km-deep borehole that is intended to be drilled during this phase of the project.