Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 07 Jul 2017 by:

New research from the Earth Observatory of Singapore and Victoria University of Wellington has provided in-depth information into how the Earth’s mantle deep beneath the central North Island of New Zealand is melting.

Our paper, published today on 6 July 2017 in Nature, examines the movements of the Earth’s crust and mantle in the region extending from Lake Taupo to the Bay of Plenty (the Taupo Volcanic Zone).

The research is based on data from Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements, which gave information on shifts in the horizontal and vertical positions of the region over the past decade.

The data revealed a remarkably symmetric and widespread pattern of movement...

Submitted on 29 Nov 2016 by:

In the night of 21 November 2016 (local time), Japan was struck by a magnitude-6.9 earthquake. This was soon followed by a M 5.6 quake in New Zealand’s North Island, which sparked speculation that the event in Japan had triggered the one in New Zealand. 

Dr Wang Yu, a Research Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, appeared on Channel NewsAsia’s morning news programme, on 22 November 2016, to explain both earthquake events, as well as clarify whether or not this is an indication of more large earthquakes to come.

Below is a short summary of the Q&A segment between Dr Wang and host, Christine Chan:

Q: First Japan, then New Zealand. Are we seeing an awakening of the Ring of Fire?

The Ring of Fire never rests. If we look at historical...

Submitted on 24 Nov 2016 by:

The recent powerful quakes that devastated the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island on 14 Nov 2016 may be part of a pattern emerging for large strike-slip fault earthquakes all around the world.

The New Zealand quakes are significant, because they did not occur on the country’s largest plate-boundary fault line, the Alpine Fault. They instead occurred on smaller nearby faults, and this is something that is happening to other such faults, most notably California’s San Andreas Fault.

New Zealand’s Alpine Fault is a 600-kilometre right-lateral strike-slip fault that forms the main boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates. Its plate movements, considered to be fast by global standards, at ≈ 3 centimetres per year, forged and shaped the Southern...