Live Webinar – Limitations of Simplified Methods for Estimating Seismic Settlements.

The presentation briefly describes Dr Pyke’s Ph.D. research on the settlement of sands, the evolution of simplified methods for estimating settlements, their limitations, a much more accurate method based on his Ph.D. research, and an improved approach to conducting screening evaluations.

DR ROBERT PYKE was born and raised in Australia and received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney. He then worked for the Commonwealth Department of Works in Canberra on various water resource projects before attending graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley he conducted original research for his Ph.D. under the guidance of the late Professor Harry Seed and formed a close relationship with Professor Seed with whom he subsequently worked on a number of consulting assignments. Since 1977 Dr Pyke has worked principally as an individual consultant on special problems in geotechnical, earthquake and water resource engineering.

Register HERE


Auckland_Northland YGP Mini Symposium

NZGS Auckland & Northland YGP Symposium – 26th February 2021

The 3rd NZGS Auckland & Northland YGP Symposium is happening on Friday 26th February 2021 in Auckland.


What is it?

A one-day event where the young and old(er) people of the local geotechnical industry gather to share and learn from each other. Every participant gives a short 10min presentation in a constructive and supportive environment.  You will not only learn but leave more enthused and motivated for your career. It is a shortened, local, less formal version of the highly successful ANZ YGP conference.


Who is it for?

All geo-professionals who are under 35 years old and/or with less than 10yrs of experience, and based in Auckland & Northland.


What is required of me?

To register, send a 100 to 200 word summary of a geotechnical topic on which you can commit to making a 10 minute presentation. The topic should be something that your peers can learn from. No written paper is required. There will be a short question time after each presentation. There will be two friendly mentors present on the day to provide advice and feedback.


How to apply?

To apply, send a short description of your presentation to by Wednesday 27th January 2021. Cost of the event is $120 per person, including dinner following the symposium. The event is to be held at Beca, 21 Pitt Street, Auckland.


For more details please see the flyer.


This talk will outline an earthquake-induced landslide (EIL) forecast tool that will produce outputs for the GeoNet landslide duty officers after a significant earthquake, in near-real time, approximately 5 to 7 minutes after being triggered. The function of this tool is to provide rapid advisory information about the severity and likely location and impacts of landslides following a major earthquake, where ground shaking data recorded by the GeoNet strong motion instrument network is used as the input for the tool. The EIL forecast tool is the first of several to be developed as part of a larger landslide forecast project being carried out by the GNS Science landslide and social science teams, and others. The aims of the overall project are to allow the GeoNet landslide duty officers (the end users) to: 1) Rapidly identify whether an earthquake or a rain event can generate landslides and the severity of landsliding; 2) Rapidly generate advisory information such as a spatial representation (map and table) of where landslides could occur in a significant earthquake or rainfall event and where the debris might travel, which can be used to help target response activities. The efficacy of the tool is demonstrated using the MW 7.8 14 November 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, and the landslides it generated, as an example of how the tool would work and the outputs it generates.

Details to register and connect below.  Please log in  15 minutes prior to the presentation to ensure you are connected!

Regional-scale landslide forecast tools for NZ | Engineering New Zealand (

Online Presentation – Regional Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterisation across New Zealand

Presented by Liam Wotherspoon

This presentation will provide an overview of the regional geotechnical and geophysical site investigation studies that have recently been carried out across New Zealand, with a focus on improving our understanding of sedimentary basin structures and the shear wave velocity of regional soil deposits. The field testing methodologies that have been used across these studies will be discussed and how they were applied in each region of interest. Outputs have been used to inform appropriate site subsoil classifications across these regions according to NZS1170.5, with examples of these updated classifications presented and discussed. Methods that have been developed for the rapid characterisation of basins to develop first order velocity models that will inform ground motion simulation efforts will also be summarised. These studies have been supported by a range of different research programmes and in partnership with a number of councils. The presentation will end with a summary of future studies and the need for industry data to improve our understanding of soil profile characteristics across the GeoNet strong motion station network, as part of the update of the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model.


2020 Hochstetter Lecture: How Tectonic & Surface Processes Interact to Shape the Landscape

Presented by Phaedra Upton, Senior Scientist, Geodynamics Team Leader, GNS Science

The landscape serves as a link between the solid Earth and the atmosphere. At many spatial and temporal scales, landscape morphology and topography provide a constraint on the tectonics of the Earth and processes active within it. To unravel these, we need to understand the complex relationships between surface processes, their drivers and the rocks upon which they act. I will explore recent developments in modelling tectonics and surface processes within a single deformational framework. I will focus on collisional settings such as New Zealand’s Southern Alps, SE Alaska and the Himalaya where rapid uplift combines with vigorous climate regimes to create dynamic landscapes.


Thanks to our venue sponsor: GEOTECHNICS

Auckland Online Presentation – Drilled Displacement Piles/Elements for Liquefaction Mitigation

Presented by W.Morgan NeSmith (P.E),

Director of Engineering, Berkel & Company, Atlanta, USA

Liquefaction induced settlement or structure movement due to lateral spread are two significant design challenges in seismically active areas. In deep liquefiable sands (e.g. 9 m and deeper), traditional vibration or soil mixing techniques may prove to be financially and operationally inefficient. Drilled displacement systems that densify the sands by mechanically displacing them laterally can be an efficient alternative in this scenario. The presentation will provide background on drilled displacement piles/elements and their modification to ground improvement systems including for liquefaction mitigation.

Morgan is the Director of Engineering at Berkel & Company and has more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical contracting and consulting. Since 2004, he has specialized in the design and installation of cast-in-place piles and ground improvement systems for Berkel & Company Contractors. Morgan is a Deep Foundation Institute (DFI) trustee and the immediate past chair and current trustee liaison of the DFI ACIP and DD Pile Technical Committee.


 Please register on line HERE