The science camps were based at four different locations (Gisborne, Te Karaka, Tolaga Bay and Ruatoria / Te Araroa) with the activities and field trips tailored to suit each area. The events included lots of field trips and hands-on problem solving tasks.
Introductory activities included observation and thinking exercises around the theme of science and natural hazards. These included demonstrations such as: earthquake P (longitudinal) and S (transverse) waves using slinky springs.
A TC1 seismometer was used to demonstrate how ground shaking (created by participants jumping on the floor) can be captured as a wave trace on a projector screen, giving a record of the magnitude (energy) and duration of the vibrations.
The TC1 can be used by schools and individuals who wish to detect earthquakes and interact with other enthusiasts online as part of the Ru programme in New Zealand
Another similar model making exercise, this time including a slope of cardboard at one end, was to design rockfall barriers. These were also tested to destruction using varying quantities and sizes of rocks rolled down the slope.
The video shows some of the tests:
If you are an educator wanting information sheets to run these activities they can be found on the GNS Science website learning pages here.
At Pouawa Beach, north of Gisborne, we made careful drawings of some deposits that are thought to have been laid down by a tsunami. Shells in these layers have been radiocarbon dated at about 2000 years old. The layers include gravel and shells that would have been transported from the sea floor.
for more information check out the GeoTrip here - these surfaces will also be uplifted eventually to form another step in the landscape.
These marine terraces show that earthquakes and tsunamis have a long history on the East Coast!