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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Phase 2 Alpine Fault Drilling

Rupert Sutherland with DFDP-2 flags Whilst researchers continue to pull together the history of past Alpine Fault earthquakes, the Deep Fault Drilling Programme is well underway in Whataroa on the West Coast of the South Island. For an introduction to this project have a look at my blog and video here, or check out the

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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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Drilling into New Zealand’s most dangerous fault

The Alpine Fault forms the plate boundary in New Zealand’s South Island, and is a very significant fault on a global scale. It last ruptured in 1717 AD and appears to produce large earthquakes on average every 330 years. Its next rupture has a high probability (28%)  of occurring in the next 50 years. Each

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The Changing Height of Mount Cook

Mount Cook  rock avalanche 1991. Lloyd Homer, GNS Science On 14th  December 1991 a massive rock avalanche occurred from the East Face of Aoraki /Mount Cook, sending an estimated 14 million cubic metres of rock in a 1.5 kilometre wide cascade across the grand plateau and down onto the Tasman Glacier. It is thought that

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