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Geology Research Projects

GeologyFALogo_2014Integral to the Frontiers Abroad experience is the conceptualization, development, research and completion of a robust and innovative semester-long study. Projects are developed throughout the five-week field camp, and carried out in full throughout the semester on campus.

Research begins with finding a key question or topic that interests the student. As this is a very personal approach, research projects take on an individual style, giving the student ownership of their research. In the early stages of project development Frontiers Abroad acts as the role of mentor, assisting in the overall design and approach to answering the research question.

Data collection and fieldwork is primarily done in the designated research week (the final week of field camp), with data analysis, laboratory work, etc. completed during term. Running in parallel with individual student research projects is a designated research course, which introduces students to valuable techniques, software (i.e. GIS, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator), analysis (i.e. XRF, XRD, thin sections, stable isotopes), literature review, and critical review processes.

Research projects are submitted in a standardized journal format. In the past, research projects have resulted in publications in international journals and presentations at AGU and GSA, indicating research at the highest levels.


All projects are available to download, however IP remains the property of Frontiers Abroad and may not be used in publication without permission from Frontiers Abroad Aotearoa.


Past Research Projects



2018 SEM 2

These research projects are currently being undertaken


2018 SEM 1

Laura Blackstone
Thermodynamic modelling of crust-magma heat interactions

Keenan Boscoe
Arrival to Aotearoa: Dating the advent of people to New Zealand through comparison of the geologic and oral record

Cole Burchiel
Independent melt extraction and storage prior to a very large caldera-forming eruption

Billie Cullison
The Potential Presence of Melt Inclusions at and a Petrographic Survey of Banks Peninsula

Luke Gersh
Seeking the Source: Are Early Maori Banks Peninsula Basalt Flakes Sourced from Banks Peninsula?

Alyssa Graveline
Taking the First Steps to Become a Geopark; Using Established ‘Sister Geoparks’ as Role Models. Case Study: Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Augusta Hollers
Departure at Dawn or Dusk? Migration Decisions in Southern Right Whales

Brooke Hornney
Rock Mass Strength in Relation to Landslide Progression

Amelia Huang
Determining the origins of karst-related depressions in Castle Hill Basin, New Zealand

Sofia Johnson
Investigating the Origin of an Orbicular Granite: Karamea, New Zealand

Abigail Lown
Exploring Bulk Rock Geochemical Controls on Formation of Volcanic “Benches” at Pigeon Bay Peak, Banks Peninsula NZ

Lea Rose Milando
Establishing hillslope vegetation characteristics for native forests in Banks Peninsula: Implications for rockfall modelling

Isabelle Moore
Making Geology Engaging: Building a Sand Model for the New Zealand Earth and Space Sciences Curriculum

Rhiannon Nolan
Modelling the Geologic History and Effects of Tropical Cyclones on Shallow Regolith-Type Landslides in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Brian Pinke
Synthesis of the Akaroa Volcanic Complex

Moses Riley
The Geologic and Anthropogenic Influences on the Surface Expression of Liquefaction

Pablo Saunders-Shultz
How LOW can you FLOW? The Magma Plumbing System of the Whakamaru Supervolcano

Jacob Tarr
Clastic dikes in the Waima Formation, Kaikoura, NZ: Expression, timing, and formation

Natalie Wigger
Favorable structural settings for potential geothermal upwellings in the central Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand


2017 Semester 2

Bryce Belanger
Geochemical analysis of near and far-field tsunami deposits: Little Pigeon Bay, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Sophia Doerr
An investigation of biogenic silica to contribute to a paleoenvironmental record on the East Coast of the South Island, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Shelby Gamble
Surfing Sediments: The Bays of Banks Peninsula & Their Tsunami Deposits – Download Pdf

Zoe Krauss
Application and Evaluation of RAMMS Rockfall Modeling Software in Purau, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Cecilia Larson
Systems of sedimentation and volcanism in Miocene Purau Bay, Banks Peninsula – Download Pdf

Ellie Lezak
Late Quaternary Climatic Controls on the Paleomorphology of a Valley Fill Sequence at Pa Bay, Banks Peninsula – Download Pdf


2017 Semester 1


Casey Armanetti
Analyzing Spring Systems of Banks Peninsula, NZ – – Download Pdf

Robin Austin
Scoria Bomb Textures and Their Relation to the Method of Formation – Download Pdf

Jessie Bersson
Investigating Volcanic Reconstruction using Akaroa Lava Benches – Download Pdf

Sally Carttar
Constructing an accessibility framework for a developing geopark: Tourism, impact, and preservation – Download Pdf

Jakob Chandler
Reconstruction of an eroded Miocene scoria cone in Red Bay, Banks Peninsula, NZ – Download Pdf

Monte Cole
Geodiversity and European land use on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Claire Elias
Life Rooted in Rock: The Influence of Geodiversity on Endemic Biodiversity of Banks Peninsula – Download Pdf

Rebecca Golia
pXRF: Packed with Potential: Protocols for Basaltic Samples – Download Pdf

Paul Greshin
Styles of Structural Deformation across Castle Hill Basin, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Janelle Heitmeier
Detailed Mapping and Ridge Analysis in Paua Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Sam Hudziak
Physical Volcanologic Evolution of the Otepatotu Cliff Transect – Download Pdf

Rebecca Matecha
3D Seismic Reflection Interpretation of Igneous Features in Parihaka-3D, Taranaki Basin, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Katherine Mistick
How Primary Volcanic Emplacement and Cooling Mechanisms Influence Rockfall Hazard – Download Pdf

Jun Miyami
Analyzing and Correlating Glass Morphology of a Tephra Horizon, Castle Hill Basin – Download Pdf

Trevor Pontifex
Go with the Flow: Mapping Catchment Areas of Perched Springs on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Liesel Robbins
The Fortitude of Fortified Maori Settlement Earthworks: Historical Aerial Photographic Analysis of Pā Site Preservation – Download Pdf

Madison Rosen
The Influence of Megacrysts within Granites on Rock Strength and Physical Properties  – Download Pdf Figures  – Download Pdf

Margaret Rubin
Phytoliths reconstruction of the environment surrounding the Kawakawa tephra in Banks Peninsula, South Island – Download Pdf

Gabe Seidman
Geomorphic evolution of Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand from 1941 to present – Download Pdf

Elizabeth Teeter
Compositional and Textural Analysis of Plutonic Lithics from Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – Embargoed

Xiaohui/Erica Xu
Petrographic Inves1ga1on of Magma Batches and Cycling of the Akaroa Volcanic Complex – Download Pdf

Tristan White
Geochemical and mineralogical analysis of pocket beach sands on Banks Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Jacob Zeigler
Investigating the Contamination of Banks Peninsula Loess by Biologically Rafted Dropstones – PDF not available

Tianran Zhang
Grain size and geochemistry analysis on 2016 Kaikōura Tsunami deposits at Little Pigeon Bay, New Zealand – Download Pdf

2016 Semester 2

Emmett Blau
Using Structure From Motion Generated Photogrammetry to Quantify Boulder Surface Roughness: A case study at Rapaki, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula – Pdf Currently Not Available

Mary-Elizabeth Connors
Redefining the Active Phases of the Mandamus Igneous Complex Using Volcanic Breccias – Download Pdf

Ellie Ellis
Creating Promotional Products for the Proposed Banks Peninsula Geopark – EllieEllis_GeoparkVideoStoryboardEllieEllis_DecolonizingPurakau

Aaron Farquhar
Effects of Hydrothermal Alteration on Porosity and Permeability in the Subsurface of Whakaari Volcano, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Ming Khan
Geophysical methods for non-invasive archaeology: Evaluating multispectral and thermal imagery in New Zealand and Cook Islands – Download Pdf

Stephanie Levine
Size and Spatial Distributions of Modern Detachment Zones and Rockfall Boulders at Rapaki, New Zealand – Download Pdf

Anna Schuh
Analysis, Correlation, and Implications of a Well Preserved Quaternary Tephra Horizon, Eastern Banks Peninsula – Download Pdf

Cole Thompson
Analysis of the Geometries of Shallow Intrusions in Canterbury Basin Using Seismic Reflection and Outcrop Analogies – Download Pdf


2016 Semester 1


Hannah Baggs
Designing Educational Resources Okains Bay Example – download pdf

Adam Belkadi
Deterministic Ballistic Hazard Assessment of Mount Ruapehu, New  Zealand – download pdf

Isabella Bennett
The role of the Kaharoa eruption in the early Polynesian perception of Aotearoa – download pdf

Mackenzie Best
Crystal growth bubble collapse and fracture formation in cooling rhyolite dome lavas – download pdf

Benjamin Carroll, Iris Holzer, and Casey McGuire
Controls on groundwater resources in loess covered volcanics: Hydrogeological models for Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Sarah Carter
Late Pleistocene Reworked Loess in Pa Bay Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Molly Coates
Application and evaluation of a detailed geomorphological mapping approach in a selected New Zealand mountain environment – download pdf – download map

Grace Guryan
Two-Dimensional Stability and Seismic Loading Models of Crater Lake Outlet, Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand – download pdf

Abigail Huber
Petrographic and Geochemical Analysis of a Newly-Discovered Vent in the TVZ – download pdf

Martin Keenan
Modelling lava dome collapse using correlation between porosity and unconfined compressive strength – download pdf

Matthew Kilgore
Ellipticity of ballistic impact craters: A case study of the August 6th 2012 Upper Te Maari Crater Eruption – download pdf

Kyrstina Lincoln
Structural control on rockfall: Geolithological and geomechanical characterization of Miocene volcanics – download pdf – download figures

Matthew Marcarelli
Using crystal size distributions and qualitative textural analysis to deduce the crystallization histories of trachytic domes and dykes in the AVC New Zealand – download pdf

Elijah Orland
Mapping the Akaroa Volcanic Complex: A case study of collaborative field mapping and stream lined data collation – download pdf

Nathaly Reyna
Creating a Virtual Field Trip Experience for Tertiary Students – download pdf

Addison Richter
Refining of Growing Fold Traces Using LiDAR Analysis of River Terraces in the Lower Waipara Gorge – download pdf

Anny Sainvil
Provenance of an exposure in Eastern Banks Peninsula New Zealand – download pdf

Maoli Vizcaíno
Investigating a possible Oruanui Eruption deposit in Pa Bay, NZ – download pdf

Noah Williams
A Geochemical control for erosion on the lava flow stratigraphy of the Akaroa volcanic complex Banks Peninsula NZ – download pdf

Benson Worthington
Investigating Controls on Erosional Patterns within a Volcanic Complex – download pdf


2015 Semester 2


Chase Epstein
Seismicity-related failure as a proxy for lithological controls on sea cliff formation, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Emma Goldrick
Eruptive Cycles within Akaroa Lava Flows and Recognition of Contemporaneous Explosive Eruptions – download pdf

Carolyn Lawlor
Insights into Akaroa Volcano’s Magmatic System through Analysis of Plutonic Lithics – download pdf

Drew Martzoff
Lateral Geochemical Variation within Banks Peninsula Lava Flows – download pdf

Madison Shankle
Ash Morphology and Geochemistry Constraints on Periods of Explosive Volcanism, Akaroa Volcanic Complex, Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Lucas Zeller
A Geochemical Analysis of Akaroa Volcano Flank Eruptives – download pdf


2015 Semester 1


Jack Albright
Late-Stage Trachyte Volcanism on Banks Peninsula Physical and Petrologic Constraints – download pdf

Christine Almer
Preservation of a Remobilized Scoria Cone Facies 1 North West Bay, NZ – download pdf

Eric Barefoot
Bulk Rock Chemistry and Erosional Morphology are Intimately Linked in Basaltic Landscapes – download pdf

Emily Beckham
Magmatic evolution of The Akaroa Volcanic Complex, Eastern Banks Peninsula – download pdf

David Burtt
Tectonic Uplift and Fan Delta Incision along the Conway Coast, NZ – download pdf

Molly Chaney
Assessing learning gains from a virtual field experience (VFE) to Orakei Korako geothermal area – download pdf

Emily DiPadova
Variations in Plutonic Lithics at Goat Rock, Banks Peninsula, NZ – download pdf

Hannah Francis
Virtual vs. Physical Field Experience in the Mangatepopo Valley – download pdf

Michelle Gavel
Controls on Strain Partitioning in the White Horse Creek Mylonite, West Coast, New Zealand – download pdf

Brittany Holt
Tidal distribution of foraminifera in Brooklands Lagoon, Canterbury, New Zealand – download pdf

Spencer Irvine
Contextualizing the View Hill Scoria Cone, Akaroa Volcanic Complex – download pdf

Ryan Kroner
Composition and rheology of overthickened lava flow units on Banks Peninsula, NZ – download pdf

Henry Lanman
Geology of Paleo and Modern Rockfall in Purau Valley with a Special Emphasis on Understanding Size Distribution – download pdf

Sean Maher
Emplacement Mechanisms in two Eroded Lava Domes at Devil’s Gap, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Alex Ng-Yow
How time affects the growth of microcrystals in Obsidian – download pdf

Eliana Perlmutter
Tools for Estimating Ash Fall Thickness – download pdf

Landis Powell
Evolution of Sense of Place Throughout a Field Trip – download pdf

Ashley Ratigan
Biological response to seismic disturbance at Brooklands Lagoon – download pdf

Emma Schlam
Recent History of Brooklands Lagoon, Canterbury, NZ shown in Foraminifera Record – download pdf

Tina Seeger
Analysis of Recent and Paleo Rockfall Goat Rock, Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Laura Stamp
A Spatial Analysis of Modern and Paleo Rockfall – download pdf

Patrick Theringer
Geochemical Evolution of the Akaroa Volcanic System in View Hill, Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Olivia Truax
Insights into Magma Production Through the Growth History of Quartz – download pdf

Sarah Trutner
An Investigation of Liquefaction in Avondale Park, Christchurch, New Zealand – download pdf

Hannah Walcek
Characterizing Volcanic Features in Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Jane Weinstock
Evaluating possible mechanisms for the preservation of a buried forest Conway Flats NZ – download pdf




Abra Atwood
Up From Below Upper crustal xenoliths as indicators of underlying bedrock in scoria cone deposits – download pdf

Kelsey Berger
Foraminifera species distribution and geochemistry of Lyttelton Harbour – download pdf

Elizabeth Bertolett
A Textural and Geochemical Analysis of Goat Rock Dome Enclaves – download pdf

Rebecca Bland
Paleoseismicity of a near-surface blind thrust – download pdf

Kelsey Brennan
Scoria Cone Dimensional Analysis and Intrusive Body Interpretation at Pa Bay, Banks Peninsula, NZ – download pdf

Grayson Carlile
Comparative Analysis of Liquefaction Ejecta Volumes in the Canterbury Earthquake – download pdf

Luc Charbonneau
Characterization of Texture and Composition for Rapaki Paleo-Boulders and Relative Influence in Determining Surface Roughness – download pdf

Tanvi Chheda
The Physics and Mechanics of Liquefaction – download pdf

Rachel Comp
Geomorphic Deformation of a Small Glaciofluvial Basin by an Upstream-Facing Thrust Fault over Multiple Glacial Cycles – download pdf

Cynthia Connard
Interpreting Complex Flank Volcanism What is the nature of Pa Bay linear flank vent (fissure) scoria deposits – download pdf

Holy Eeg
Understanding an olivine-nephelenite lava flow – download pdf

Anne Fulton
Magmatic dynamics and petrogenesis of eruptive deposits and a shallow intrusive, Pa Bay, Akaroa Volcano, New Zealand – download pdf

Lily Gaddis
Magma Propagation and Stress Influences A Spatial Analysis of Akaroas Primary Volcanic Features – download pdf

Anna Gerrits
Akaroa Volcano as a volcanic complex and the Daly Gap – download pdf

Devon Gorbey
Scoria Cone Analysis in Le Bons Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Matt Guiang
Topographic and geophysical imaging of the structure of New Zealand’s – download pdf

Betsie Hopper
New Lidar data reveals slip transfer from the Hope Fault to the Kaikoura Fault – download pdf

Katie Kuklewicz
Loess Phytoliths as indicators of climate change A case study on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Alana McGillis
Foraminifera and Geochemistry Analysis in a Short Core, Lyttelton Harbour, NZ – download pdf

Mackinnon Main
Interpretational Analysis of Liquefaction Dike Systems in Christchurch, New Zealand – download pdf

Erin Markey
Uncovering Akaroa’s Eruptive History Reconstructing a flank scoria cone in Le Bons Bay, Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Maddy Niles
Characterisation of Liquefaction Features in Eastern Christchurch, NZ – download pdf

Cody Phillips
Geophysical Surveys along Subtle Deformation of the Greendale Fault – download pdf

Adam Polis
The Eyes of iPads – download pdf

Becca Ringler
Calibrating a 2D Rockfall Model Using Video Footage to Reevaluate Rockfall Hazard in Post-Earthquake Christchurch – download pdf

Jenna Rolle
Flow Emplacement Mechanisms of a Morphologically Complex Lava Flow – download pdf

Emily Sexton
Basaltic Lava Flow vs. Welded Basaltic Ignimbrite – download pdf

Matt Sumner
Correlation of Volcanic Benches and Implication on the Development of the Akaroa Volcanic Complex – download pdf

Sarah Turner
The Patterns of Pa’s Pa Attributes and Site Selection on Banks Peninsula – download pdf



Sarah K. Brisson
Flows, Deposits, and Overlaps: Analysis and Description of the Flows of Eastern Okains Bay – download pdf

Paula Burgi
Parasitic Cones of Western Pa Bay, Banks Peninsula, NZ – download pdf

Ben B. Chiewphasa
Reconstructing the Pa Bay, New Zealand Archaeological Site: A Spatial Analysis via Google SketchUp© – download pdf

Vikki Crystal
Understanding the magmatic evolution and processes associated with the formation of the lava flows found in Lavericks Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Camille Dwyer
The Stories of Banks Peninsula: Connecting Maori Oral Traditions, European History, and Geological and Ecological Perspectives – download pdf

Jane Eisenberg
Structural and Geochemical Characterization of a Trachy-Andesitic Cryptodome: View Hill, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Adrienne Emmerich
Soil formation from volcanic deposits in Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Jennifer Garvin
Dome Formation of Panama Rock Banks Peninsula, New Zealand Using Joint and Flow Banding Relationships – download pdf

Karina Graeter
Insights into magma production in the Okataina Volcanic Complex, Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand using petrographic analysis and cathodoluminescence imaging – download pdf

Rowan Lowden
Dikes and Deposits: Distinguishing the history of a fissure system on Akaroa Volcano, Okains Bay, New Zealand – download pdf

Jessica McHale
Lava Tube Modeling: A case study of a lava tube along a shore platform in Lavericks Bay, New Zealand – download pdf

Kyle Metcalfe
The origin of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: a high-resolution geochemical study of intraplate volcano evolution – download pdf

Sarina Patel
On the Subsurface Evolution of Batch Lavas at Stony Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: A Study in Plagioclase Phenocryst Development – download pdf

Lauren Pincus
A Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Geochemical Analysis of the Lava Flows Within Stony Bay, Banks Peninsula, NZ – download pdf

Daniel Portner
View into the magmatic history of Akaroa Volcano through volcanic deposits at View Hill and Okains Bay – download pdf

Daniel Reed
Holes in our knowledge: a consideration of the thermal properties of vesicular hāngi stones – download pdf

Jeremy Rosen
An exploration of the origin of lateral scoria deposits in the View Hill region of Banks Peninsula – download pdf

John Scott
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand is a model for the geologic control of nearshore fish habitat – download pdf

Natasha Simpson
Geosite investigations: A framework for deciphering geological histories; an example from the Panama Rock region in the proposed Banks Peninsula GeoPark, Canterbury, New Zealand – download pdf

Caroline Templeton
Characterization and Reconstruction of Lahars found in Lavericks Bay and Okains Bay, New Zealand – download pdf

Sophia Tsang
Lessons Rising from the Ash: A Geochemical Study of the Ash Layers from Akaroa Volcano, New Zealand – download pdf

Shanna Williamson
Tsunami Hazard Assessment for Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: Identifying and Communicating the Risk – download pdf 

Alexa Zilberfarb
Using field trips to Banks Peninsula, New Zealand to augment Earth science learning for Canterbury schools – download pdf 



Tyler Brown
Volcanic Geology of Le Bons Bay Peak, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

MaryAnn Countryman
Formation of Okains Bay Sea Caves- Original Features and Development in Relation to Sea Level Rise and Fall: Eastern Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Lorelei Curtin
Origin and Evolution of Panama Rock Dike and Dome Complex, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Lynn Geiger
The Origins of Magnetic Anomalies of Goat Rock on Banks Peninsula – download pdf

Daniel Hobbs
Detailed Mapping and Bay Geomorphology of Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Joshua Johnson
Geochemistry and detailed mapping of volcanic deposits in Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Zachary Leisure
Lava Ramp Fracture Features in Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Gabriel Lewis
Dome Reconstruction via Geographic Information Systems: A Case Study of Panama Rock, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Florence Loi
Vesicular Changes between Pahoehoe And Aa Lava Flows: A Case Study of the Lagoon Section in Okains Bay, New Zealand – download pdf

James Muller
Flank Scoria Deposits of Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand: Insights to Akaroa Volcanism and Coastal Evolution – download pdf

Francisco Perez
Flood Risk Analysis of the Heathcote River due to Sedimentation in the Woolston Cut – download pdf

Katherine Shirley
Inferring Scoria Cone Structure in Little Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf

Samantha Tramontano
Reconstructing the Magmatic History of Goat Rock Intrusive, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – download pdf




Due to the 22nd of February Christchurch Earthquake, students transferred to Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, resulting in disruption to planned research projects.

Kaylyn-Oates, Aurora Pinkey-Drobnis, and Jonathan Reeves.
Getting the Message Right: A Measure of How Well the Media Educated the Public on Geosciences during the 2010 -2011 Earthquake Sequence in Christchurch, New Zealand – download pdf




Samantha Bova
What lies beneath: Deciphering Magma Chamber Dynamics at Ngauruhoe Volcano – download pdf

Brian House 
Using pyroxene thermometry to estimate pre-eruptive temperatures of Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt. Doom) lavas – download pdf

Katherine Kravitz
Through Thick and Thin: An Investigation of the Effusive Eruptions at Mt. Ngauruhoe – download pdf

Stephanie Spera
The Awakening: The Geological Implications of a Volcanic Event after a period of Dormancy at Mount Ngauruhoe – download pdf

Daniel Walsh
Relative Dating of Volcanic Flows on a Back-Arc Stratovolcano – download pdf

Cameron Windham
Apples to Oranges –A study of the distribution contours of age- and timing-unrelated volcanics throughout the world, a useful comparative technique – download pdf

Andrew Zuza
Ready, Aim, Fire!: Controls on Mount Ngauruhoe’s eruption style – download pdf



No research projects were produced in the initial year of the Geology of New Zealand Programme