Earthquake

What’s on our Plates?

Researching tsunami deposits on the East Coast

New Zealand has thousands of active faults each of which will produce an earthquake of some magnitude when it ruptures. However the two giants are the Alpine Fault and the Hikurangi Subduction Fault. They each form a segment of the plate boundary – the Alpine Fault can be traced across land, the length of the South …

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The Kekerengu Fault

Photo Tim Little @ VUW Whilst there were many faults that ruptured during the recent M7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake, the Kekerengu Fault is perhaps the most awe inspiring in terms of its effect on the landscape and infrastructure. As it ripped through the countryside, it displaced the land to either side by an astonishing 8 to …

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A Ruptured Landscape

J,.Thomson @ GNS Science On the ground in the Kaikoura Quake aftermath: Following the recent M7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake, a number of teams of scientists have been deployed to survey the geological impacts and assess the potential ongoing risks to people and infrastructure. This gallery of images shows some of the numerous dramatic impacts of the quake …

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Precarious Boulders and Earthquakes

The National Seismic Hazard Model is the result of lots of work by scientists to indicate the likelihood of earthquakes happening in different parts of New Zealand. It is made with reference to the historic record of earthquakes that have happened across the country, combined with research into the rupture histories of many individual active …

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Nature’s Earthquake Recorders

In order to make sense of the sediment cores that can be retrieved from lakes near to the Alpine Fault such as Lake Christabel, it is worth having a think about what happens to the environment when the fault ruptures in a large earthquake. Under normal conditions, alpine lakes fill up very slowly with sediment …

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Lake Christabel

Lake Christabel   J.Thomson@GNS Science This is Lake Christabel in New Zealand’s South Island. It is one of the many beautiful alpine lakes  to be found close to the Alpine Fault. Lake Christabel was formed when a huge landslide blocked the valley, thus damming the river that then backed up to form the lake.The present day …

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Imaging the Crust beneath Wellington

Having had a close up look to the surface trace of the Wairarapa Fault (see recent post here), I thought it would be interesting to find out the latest about what such a major geological structure looks like below the earth’s surface. Stuart Henrys and colleagues at Victoria University, the University of Tokyo, Japan, and …

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Wairarapa Fault – the Biggest Rupture on Earth

The Wairarapa Fault is one of New Zealand’s large active faults running along the eastern edge of the Rimutaka range from Palliser Bay north into the Wairarapa. It was responsible for the massive magnitude 8.2 earthquake that violently shook the lower North Island in 1855 in New Zealand’s largest historically recorded ‘quake. This Google Earth …

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