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Understanding the risks – tsunami, floods, earthquakes & volcanoes

Associate Professor Asaad Shamseldin, Faculty of Engineering, Associate Professor Charles Clifton, Faculty of Engineering & Dr Jan Lindsay, Faculty of Science - The University of Auckland

31 July 2012

Venue: Maidment Theatre Running time: 1 hour Telephone bookings and enquiries: Venue enquiries only (09) 308 2383

1pm - 2pm

Admission is free and open to the public.

Lecture 3:
2012 Winter Lectures: Hazards, disasters, risks and responses: Auckland are you ready?
The last two years brought the unpredictable nature of New Zealand’s natural and man-made hazards to the fore. Christchurch’s major earthquake and its devastating aftershocks, the Pike River mine disaster, the Rena oil spill, heavy rain and snow falls, tornadoes and other unexpected events overstretched the country’s infrastructure, caused loss of life and livelihood, and tested the strength and resilience of everyday New Zealanders. This series of lectures explores New Zealand’s disasters – the risks we face and the responses we make to those risks. Experts and scholars from, or connected with, The University of Auckland will share their knowledge and skills on a selection of topics from geology and engineering to media and education.

A panel discussion: Understanding the risks – tsunami, floods, earthquakes & volcanoes.
Associate Professor Asaad Shamseldin, Faculty of Engineering: Tsunami hazard and mitigation in New Zealand
New Zealand with its long coastline and its location in the Pacific ring of fire is vulnerable to tsunami damage. Recent research indicates the risks of structure damage from tsunamis in New Zealand are no less significant than those associated with earthquakes. This lecture will provide a historical review of tsunamis in New Zealand and other parts of the world. It will also discuss the current research activities at The University of Auckland aiming at providing a better scientific understanding of the interaction of tsunami with infrastructure.

Associate Professor Charles Clifton, Faculty of Engineering: Earthquake and fire risk
The earthquakes that have struck Christchurch since September 2010 have shattered lives, buildings and infrastructure. The earthquakes have also given structural engineers a unique opportunity to learn the effects of severe earthquakes on buildings and infrastructure. It provides valuable lessons about the performance of actual buildings from old to modern, built from a wide range of structural materials and with many structural forms. The lessons are relevant to all of New Zealand and will be the focus of this lecture.

Dr Jan Lindsay, Faculty of Science: Volcanic risk
Although Auckland is considered to be one of New Zealand’s most tectonically stable areas, it is built on and around the potentially active Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF), which comprises around 50 small volcanoes and has been active for the last quarter of a million years. The most recent eruption in the AVF occurred 550 years ago, producing the island of Rangitoto, and was witnessed by early Māori. The region also experiences low-level tectonic seismicity, and is at risk of ash fall from more distal volcanoes. Although the volcanoes in Auckland are relatively small and their eruptions have been infrequent, the risk associated with future activity is very high, given Auckland’s high physical and economic vulnerability.

For further information about the Winter Lectures phone 373 7599 ext 87698.