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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A Ticker Tape Record of Alpine Fault Earthquakes

The famous NASA image of New Zealand’s South Island clearly shows the trace of the Alpine Fault along the straight western edge of the Southern Alps. This oblique Google Earth view of the West Coast shows the relative uplift on the eastern side of the fault that has created the Southern Alps. The Hokuri Creek

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Beryllium-10 dating of moraines around Lake Ohau

Lake Ohau is one of several very large lakes in the Southern Alps that fill valleys once carved out by huge glaciers during the Ice Age. As the ice retreated, it left spectacular and classic landforms in its wake, including concentric lines of moraines, erratic boulders, ‘U’ shaped valleys and extensive outwash plains. The rapid

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Groundwater dating around Lake Rotorua

“If you want to have an insight into a society, just look at the water in the streams and rivers” Uwe Morgenstern, GNS Science’s specialist in groundwater and ice dating, runs a laboratory that is the most accurate water dating facility in the world. His methods are so precise, that they are four times more

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