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.

UC welcomes new Engineering Geology lectureship

22 April 2016 UC has signed a partnership with geotechnical engineering firm Pells Sullivan Meynink to sponsor a new senior lecturer position in Engineering Geology. (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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‘Geology is evolving and new things are being discovered all the time, so there are unique opportunities in the field...’

Kate Tinnelly PGDip in Engineering Geology
Graduate Geotechnical Engineer, BHP Billiton, Australia
(read profile)


Dolapo Fakuade (PhD candidate UC and UCR3), "Community functions as a mechanism for enhancing Emergency Response”
12:00-1300 5 May 2016, Room 456, von Haast Building

Master talks 2016 semester 1 - This years Master Talks will be held on Thursday, May 5th 2016, starting at 14:30 in room Von Haast 312 (common room)

Alan Bischoff (MSc candidate UC), "Using Seismic Reflection Data to Characterize Volcanic Systems and Associated Sedimentary Deposits in Zealandia Sedimentary Basins”
12:00-1300 12 May 2016, Room 456, von Haast Building

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)