Mark Quigley awarded fellowship for contribution to earthquake awareness

December 15 / 173

Mark Quigley in New Zealand
Mark Quigley in New Zealand

Associate Professor Mark Quigley has been named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the geosciences, and in particular his contributions to the public awareness and understanding of earthquakes.

Dr Quigley recently joined the School of Earth Sciences in the Faculty of Science as an Associate Professor of Active Tectonics and Geomorphology. He is the first University of Melbourne academic to become a GSA Fellow.

Dr Quigley was previously based in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. In the aftermath of the earthquakes that devastated Christchurch in 2010 and 2011, he was the voice of science in the New Zealand media, and a key participant in the investigations and rebuilding plans.

At the University of Melbourne, Dr Quigley will continue his work to map and understand the sub-surface features that led to such devastation in and around Christchurch, while also taking an interest in Australian earthquakes. 

He plans to build a one million year record of earthquakes in Australia to understand the controls on intraplate earthquake behaviour.

Dr Quigley says Australian earthquakes are interesting because you never know when or where the next one is likely to strike.

“In places like New Zealand, large earthquakes tend to occur along mapped active faults, but what constitutes an active fault in Australia is challenging to define; some faults may lie dormant for tens to hundreds of thousands of years before rupturing, so it’s almost impossible to predict where they might strike,” he said. 

Dr Quigley believes that by building a map of earthquake history we might better be able to understand Australian earthquakes and the risks they may pose.

Story by Daryl Holland


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