Information gathered from the September 2010 Canterbury earthquake may help prepare communities for future natural disasters. NIWA and GNS Science are using data on damage and human displacement caused by the quake to help validate RiskScape, a natural hazard impact and risk-assessment tool.
Land-derived sediments and heavy metals are two contaminants threatening the health of New Zealand’s estuaries. NIWA has developed the Urban Stormwater Contaminant (USC) model to predict long-term sediment and heavy metal accumulation under various land-use and management scenarios. The model has recently been applied to the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours to aid planning decisions.
Recent tsunami generated by earthquakes off Samoa and Vanuatu were detected by 12 sea-level gauges around New Zealand, revealing delays of up to 15 hours in local occurrence of peak waves. Using data from the Vanuatu tsunami, NIWA scientists demonstrated new hydrodynamic computer models that may soon be able to predict the effects of regional tsunamis in near real-time.
New Zealand’s green credentials are a key selling point for aquaculture products in an increasingly discerning world market. With the aquaculture industry poised to expand, we need robust tools to manage potential environmental impacts, including those of new finfish species. NIWA’s sustainable aquaculture programme addresses this need.