NZ Geomechanics News

Branch Reports



The Auckland branch has great start to 2017 with the Rankine Presentation from Professor Richard Jardine. His presentation focused on how geotechnics relates to energy. He covered a diverse number of topics including design of piles for offshore platforms and wind turbines to the effects of climate change on perma-frost. The presentation was extremely well attended with over 160 people. Thanks to Geotechnics for sponsoring the catering.

Presentations in May and June include the student poster competition and talks from the new additions to the University of Auckland team Dr Ryan Yan, speaking on green slope engineering, and Dr Connor P. Hayden speaking on liquefaction-induced building performance.


Above: Great turn out at the Auckland round of the 56th Rankine Lecture by Professor Richard Jardine. Professor Jardine is perched ready for questions post talk, at the front in the blue suit, as local branch representative James Johnson manages the eager crowd.


On Tuesday 4th April 2016 Dr Vicki Moon and Dr Willem de Lange kindly hosted a Waikato Branch Presentation titled Faulting within the Hamilton Basin: Recent Progress at the University of Waikato.

This presentation summarised recent work (over the last 2 years) by the University of Waikato. Three MSc students, an undergraduate student undertaking a special topic, and a Summer Scholarship student have been busy collecting data for the hidden faults project attempting to quantify the frequency and magnitude of local seismic activity in the Hamilton Basin. This has included a compilation of historical records of earthquake damage within the Hamilton Basin since 1853, geological mapping along the river, and resistivity surveys at sites where faults identified within the river bed were inferred to cross the landscape. This work has been greatly assisted by access to faults exposed by the development of the Hamilton Section of the Waikato Expressway, and an opportunity to calibrate seismic resistivity equipment against a detailed set of CPT, borehole and trial pit data for the inland port development near the University. Associated research has focused on “seismites” with peat lakes in the Hamilton Basin. If these represent the result of liquefaction of tephra layers within the lake beds, then they provide good evidence for the timing and magnitude of earthquakes.

It is clear from multiple lines of evidence that faults are common within the Basin, and some may be active. The data acquired also suggest an alternative explanation for the formation of the landforms within the Basin. This talk summarised the recent findings and their implications for the evolution of the Hamilton Hills. The data obtained so far also allows an estimate of the maximum magnitude of a local seismic event (assuming the faults are active), but does not provide any indication of the probability of such an event.

This event was sponsored by CPT-It who generously provided refreshments to keep attendees fueled.

Upcoming events are in planning including a possible site visits to some large infrastructure projects however these are very weather dependent. If members have any ideas for possible branch events then please don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Waikato coordinators Kori Lentfer or Andrew Holland


Above: Wellington Branch for the “Rockfalls -Debris flows -Landslides -Shallow landslides -Slope stabilisation” presentation on 3 May 2017. Approximately 40 people turned up to the event.


We have had 3 presentations to Canterbury Branch since the start of the year with the Rankine Lecture presented by Richard Jardine on Thursday 30 March, about 40 people attended.  Jason Le Masurier presented on the observational method for managing construction project uncertainties on Tuesday 14 March, about 30 people attended.  Rori Green presented on a overview of rockfall design considerations for passive protection structures on Tuesday 28 February, about 30 people attended.

Upcoming we have a presentation by Joan Torrebadella on rock falls debris flows and slopes stabilisation on Tuesday 2 May and Martin Larisch and Timothy Pervan on Design and construction of ground improvement with a particular focus on dynamic compaction to mitigate liquefaction on Tuesday 16 May.

NEW: Northland Branch

We are pleased to announce our NEW Northland Branch. Your coordinator is Mr Phil Cook who is keen to bring more information to our Northland members. Feel free to drop Phil an email at

NEW: Hawkes Bay Branch

We are pleased to announce our Hawkes Bay branch is now up and running again with their first Presentation on the 23rd May. Tom Bunny and Tom Grace the Coordinators are interested in any ideas you have for presentations and speakers. You can contact them on email Tom Bunny on and Tom Grace at



NZ Geomechanics News
NZ Geomechanics News>Issue 93 - June 2017
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