School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences

Tectonics and Lithospheric Deformation Research Group

PhD student Carolin Böse indicating a seismometer she installed in the Copland Valley, South Westland as part of the SAMBA project.

We study how the earth deforms on timescales ranging from seconds to many millions of years.

New Zealand’s world-renowned scenery, active volcanism and recurrent earthquakes are the present-day expressions of tectonic deformation that has been occurring for millions of years along the Australia–Pacific plate boundary.

Multi-Disciplinary Group

Our group is made up of geologists and geophysicists who research a broad range of disciplines, including active- and passive-source seismology, structural field mapping and microstructural studies, analytical geochemistry and geochronology, computational analysis and geomathematics.

Former post-doc Dr Brad Ilg examining Alpine schist in the hanging wall of the Alpine fault, above the Baumann Glacier near Franz Josef.


We collaborate with colleagues in other parts of the School of Geography, Environment, and Earth Sciences, and in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences (especially in paleomagnetism and electromagnetics) and the School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Operations Research (in statistical analysis).

We work closely with researchers at GNS Science and the Universities of Auckland, Canterbury and Otago, and maintain collaborative links to a broad range of New Zealand and international organisations.