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Discover what we’ve already uncovered about the plate boundary and the natural hazards that affect us

Ever wondered what goes on beneath your feet and deep below the ocean? Here you can learn about the Earth’s surface and tectonic plates, the East Coast and the Hikurangi trench, natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, and how to ‘get ready and get thru’ in disasters.

Earth’s Surface

There is so much that we don’t yet know about what happens on the surface of the Earth but we do know that the earth is made up of four main layers - the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust.

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Tectonic Plates

Earth's crust is rather like a jigsaw puzzle and is made up of large pieces called tectonic plates. Some tectonic plates are huge and include entire continents.

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East Coast and Hikurangi Plate Boundary

Here on the East Coast, we are close to the Hikurangi tectonic plate boundary which lies just off the coast. This is the boundary between the Australian plate and the Pacific plate.

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Natural Hazards: Earthquakes

An earthquake is the shaking of the Earth's surface due to movement of tectonic plates. Earthquakes are caused by the release of pressure between two tectonic plates.

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Natural Hazards: Tsunami

Tsunami is a Japanese word meaning 'harbour wave'. These waves can move very fast and for very long distances.

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Natural Hazards: Volcanoes

Volcanoes erupt when magma finds weaknesses within the earth’s surface. Pressure builds up and forces magma towards the surface. This pressure is released in the form of an eruption and the magma explodes to the surface.

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Climate change

The Earth's climate is getting warmer and as global temperatures continue to rise, we'll see more changes in our climate and our environment.

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Natural Hazards: Coastal erosion and inundation

Our coast is shaped by many forces - the sea, the wind, the structure of the rock and earth along different parts of the coast, and even people and their activities. Living on the coast means we are also vulnerable to coastal erosion - the wearing away of the coast  and coastal inundation - higher than normal sea levels 

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Never Happens? Happens

Disasters can affect us all at any time due to damage that they can cause. By helping your family be more prepared at home, you can reduce the risks and increase your own safety.

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