Martha Savage

Prof Martha Savage profile picture

Professor School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Earth structure, Plate Tectonics

Seismology and its relation to Tectonics and Earthquake Hazards. More specifically:

Seismic Anisotropy

The study of seismic anisotropy is a rapidly growing field which is yielding information on the orientation of cracks in the crust and aligned minerals in the mantle. These can in turn be related to deformation within the Earth. This is very exciting, as it allows us for the first time to get an understanding of the strain, or the "structural geology" within the mantle. We are still in the fundamental stages of mapping this deformation, and determining the contributions from the crust and asthenosphere, and from past and present tectonic processes. Field programs in the United States and in New Zealand are helping to unravel relations between tectonic provinces and seismic anisotropy. Exciting developments are suggesting anisotropy can be used as a tool to study stress changes on volcanoes, which could lead to new methods of eruption forecasting.

Seismic Anisotropy in New Zealand

Earthquake Hazards

Earthquake hazards continue to cause great concern to the general public, and mitigating those hazards is an important part of applied seismology. My research in this area ranges from examination of properties claimed to be precursors to larger earthquakes, to determining statistically the likelihood of a moderate event being followed by a larger one, to working with other researchers to calibrate finite difference models of Wellington region earthquakes to measured ground motions.


  • PhD in Geophysics - University of Wisconsin, Madison (1987)
  • MSc in Geophysics - University of Wisconsin, Madison (1984)
  • BA in Physics - Swarthmore College (1979)

Prof Martha Savage CV 2018


Publications 1983 - 2018


Teaching in 2019