Welcome to Geological Sciences

Geology is an incredibly diverse and multidisciplinary subject. It’s about understanding Planet Earth so that we can benefit human society and sustain the environment that supports us. We have excellent and challenging courses and research programmes which prepare students for a diverse range of career options, such as in geo-exploration, volcanology, hazard management, engineering geology, environmental planning, water resources, science teaching and geoscience research.

New York professors teach geology, tectonics at UC

29 January 2016 Syracuse University Earth sciences professors Suzanne Baldwin and Paul Fitzgerald will be teaching and researching in Christchurch for the next three months. (read article)

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Engineering Geology Programme

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Geothermal Research Programme

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Geoscience Education Research Group

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‘I love my degree and the opportunities it has presented and opened up to me...’

Jonathan-Adam Mukhtar studying towards a Master of Science in Engineering Geology
(read profile)


PMEG welcome and fieldtrip info – important information on the timing of the start of the PMEG programme (1 Febuary 2016) and information about the 1st few weeks of the programme with ENGE410 fieldtrips.

MDRR enrolment – a how to list of steps for enrolling in the new MDRR programme shared between Canterbury and Lincoln Universities.  Required papers, advised papers, and how to steps. Information will be posted within the next few days (6 January 2016).

GEOL352 fieldtrip to Castle Hill and Kaikoura – important information in the timing of the fieldtrip, allocations to streams, and equipment.


Seminars have finished for this year and will commence again in March 2016.

Current Seminars>>

Hot Topic

Shaking magma to trigger volcanic eruptions
Ben Kennedy
and team have received a 3 year Marsden grant to study how earthquakes can trigger volcanic eruptions. The team proposes to shake real magma on a shake table, and see if more, or bigger bubbles form during shaking. By collaborating with UC’s Department of Engineering this shaking at high temperature and with realistic simulated earthquakes will be possible for the first time. Dr Kennedys’ team also plan to visit volcanoes where eruptions have been triggered by earthquakes and look for similar textures in the magma that was erupted. (abstract here)

Collaborative Display at FrenchFest 2015: UC, Frontiers Abroad and the Paihere Geopark
On the 10th October, the University of Canterbury in collaboration with Frontiers Abroad and the Paihere Geopark presented student research on Banks Peninsula at French Fest in Akaroa, led by Sam Hampton, Darren Gravley, Alison Jolley, and Liz Bertolett of the Department of Geological Sciences. Selected student research from over the past four years was presented, spanning research fields of physical volcanology, petrological investigations, to geo-archaeology.  The display was well attended, with great public interest both into the research being undertaken and the proposed Geopark on Banks Peninsula.

This was also the first public showcase for the Paihere Geopark, a community driven project to establish Banks Peninsula as a Geopark, into which Frontiers Abroad student research has been incorporated and driven the project.

Stefan Cook is studying towards a Professional Masters in Engineering Geology at the University of Canterbury. His work involves characterising the stability of the rock mass material at the outlet of the Crater Lake, Mt Ruapehu, located on the southern flanks of the active crater rim. The outlet occurs at a 10 m high water fall, located in the centre of the research area, and represents the best exposure of rock for his research.(read more)