Professor awarded grant to purchase advanced gravity meter

Professor Tim Stern, from the School of Geography, Environmental and Earth Sciences, has been awarded a grant to purchase a new zero-length gravity meter.

Professor Tim Stern has been awarded a grant by the Scientia Trust—Planet Earth Fund to purchase a new zero-length spring-type gravity meter, which has advanced technology for accuracy, reliability, electronic levelling and ease of transportation in the field.

The Scientia Trust—Planet Earth Fund was established by the late George Eiby to study earthquakes, astronomical motions and the internal structure of the Earth. In 2017 the Trust received 10 applications—­­Professor Stern’s was one of only two recipients.

Professor Stern says the equipment will be utilised in a number of important research projects the School undertakes.

“There are several projects of immediate interest we will be using it for, such as to assess the seismic risk of shaking in urban areas and to map the Wairapapa fault.”

With Wellington situated on such a tectonically active area, this new gravity meter will provide valuable information for analysing the risk of earthquakes.

The equipment will also be used to train the 300-level geophysics students in the techniques of gravity surveying, furthering the skills they’ll graduate with. Gravity methods have been the back bone of these geophysics course at Victoria University for the past 40 years and these students often go on to careers in GNS, the exploration industry and the science-based private sector.