Earth sciences and volcanology research

We undertake research into soil and earth processes in the global environment. Soil is a major natural resource on the earth’s surface. Soil and earth sciences are essential for the conservation and protection of our natural heritage, the development of sound environmental management practices, and the long-term sustainability of our natural environment. We aim to develop and integrate ongoing scientific advancements in volcanology within practical risk-management strategies in New Zealand and overseas communities, business enterprises and government agencies.

Research expertise

Community hazards education and planning

We specialise in participatory methods and risk perception research, and the development of scenarios and training tools around volcanic eruptions.

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Mineralogy, petrology and economic geology

Our focus is on chemical and physical processes in igneous rocks and how they relate to volcanic processes. We also investigate metasomatic alteration products in active and ancient hydrothermal systems. Our mineral compositions research ranges from primary minerals in igneous rocks to clay minerals. We also study the mineralogy and petrology of economic mineral deposits, with implications for the mining industry.

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Māori perspectives and geographic information science

We are developing methods to model and capture indigenous geographic knowledge (which may be qualitative and include representations such as oral histories) and incorporate it in existing environmental monitoring systems, considering Māori worldviews and perspectives of the environment.

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Natural hazards and Māori communities

Massey researchers are working on this Mātauranga Māori project to improve monitoring, planning and managing of risk from natural hazards that will benefit Māori communities at risk.

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Probabilistic hazard forecasting

We combine records of volcanic events from detailed physical volcanology and geochemical studies with innovative statistical techniques to develop time-varying volcanic hazard forecasts.

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Remote sensing and Earth observation

Our work focuses on capturing data and change detection by monitoring the Earth’s surface through satellite, aerial, proximal sensing and drone surveys. This includes ground and field validation of airborne and satellite imagery.

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Statistical seismology and volcanology

We work on statistical problems in geophysics. Our focus is on the spatio-temporal estimation of hazard, especially from volcanoes or earthquakes, and the assessment of the risk.

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Volcanic mass flows

Our volcanic mass flows research involves computational modelling and large-scale simulations, developing new tools and techniques to measure the physical properties and provide warnings of moving mass flows, as well as detailed sedimentological studies of mass flows.

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Volcanism - economic impacts

Based on our scientific discoveries, we model the economic impacts of volcanism and the effect on lifelines infrastructure, as well as the impacts on human health and agriculture.

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Research projects

Awards and recognition

Events

IAVCEI 5th Volcanic Geology Workshop

The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior's Fifth Volcanic Geology Workshop consists of an on-campus workshop (one day) with presentations and discussions and field trip (six days) to the Taupo Volcanic Zone active and young volcanic terrains.

The workshop is co-hosted by Massey University and the University of Auckland.

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Research centres and groups

Coastal-Marine Research Group

This centre undertakes marine ecological research within and beyond New Zealand waters, concentrating largely on conservation and management orientated questions. Our specific strengths include marine mammal biology and ecology and quantitative marine ecology.

Coastal-Marine Research Group

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre

Massey University's Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre engages in teaching and research on soils, fertilisers and environmental issues in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre

Innovative River Solutions

The Innovative River Solutions Centre is a hub of expertise on river catchments and provides integrated solutions for the management of New Zealand’s dynamic river systems.

We have staff with expertise in several of the science disciplines within river catchments.

Innovative River Solutions

International Research Centre for the Management of Degraded and Mining Lands

Located in Indonesia, this centre aims to help restore land degraded by mining. Collaborative research is being carried out between Massey, a founding partner, and partners Brawijaya University, the University of Mataram and the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The centre grew out of a research project started by Dr Chris Anderson investigating remediation techniques for mercury-contaminated soil using plants.

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New Zealand Biochar Research Centre

The Centre is internationally-recognised, working to advance the understanding of biochar for mitigating global climate change. We also work to enable its use in New Zealand, particularly by the agricultural and forestry sectors.

New Zealand Biochar Research Centre

New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre

The Centre is a collaboration between Massey University, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research and SCION. It works to build capability in life cycle management (LCM) by providing education, training and research to LCM professionals to meet increasing consumer demand for green metrics on products.

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Political Ecology Research Centre

The Political Ecology Research Centre (PERC) is dedicated to connecting groups and individuals whose work emphasises and critiques the relationships between society, environment and politics. PERC members study, teach, research, and/or practise political ecology.

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Volcanic Risk Solutions

During volcanic events, this Centre provides rapid scientific response information to local governments, industry and agricultural industries. It also develops and integrates scientific advancements in volcanology within practical risk-management strategies for New Zealand and Southwest Pacific communities, business enterprises and government agencies.

Volcanic Risk Solutions

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