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Yoshihiro Kaneko

Yoshihiro Kaneko, Seismologist, GNS Science

"Earth Science is about better understanding problems of significant societal, political and historical relevance, such as earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes”

Yoshi was introduced to Earth Science when he was at High School in Japan. He became really interested in seismology in particular while studying at University in the United States. He is now a seismologist at GNS Science. Seismology is the study of seismic waves, energy waves caused by rock suddenly breaking apart within the earth or the slipping of tectonic plates

His research focuses on trying to understand how earthquakes rupture and he is currently working on a 5-year Rutherford Discovery Fellowship project to try and understand what controls earthquake rupture at the Hikurangi subduction zone.

The Hikurangi subduction zone lies off the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand, where the Pacific plate is diving beneath the crust of the Australian plate, is capable of producing large earthquakes and tsunami like the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake in Japan.

In this project, Yoshi and a PhD student will use state-of-the-art seismological techniques and numerical modeling, combined with existing and new seismic datasets, to figure out how earthquakes might rupture at the subduction zone. This project will be completed in 2022.

Yoshi finds seismology research stimulating because the science discipline features many different approaches for dealing with each problem, and combines math, physics, mechanics, and chemistry.