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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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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Stepping Over the Boundary

This is a classic view of the Southern Alps from Lake Matheson on a still morning, showing the high peaks of Mount Tasman and Mount Cook.The Alpine Fault runs along the foot of the steep rangefront, extending right up the West Coast of the South Island. The mountains are therefore part of the Pacific Plate

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Photo: J.Thomson The windswept coastline between Wellington Harbour and Palliser Bay forms the southern tip of the Rimutaka Ranges. These hills themselves are an extension of the axial ranges that stretch the length of the North Island. This is the view east from Baring Head towards Turakirae Head. In good weather, this rugged environment isthe

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A dynamic landscape in Hawkes Bay

Last week I was in Hawkes Bay with geologist Kyle Bland, who led a field trip for teachers, students and parents of Crownthorpe School. Hawkes Bay geology is a story of uplift along fault lines, combined with rapid erosion and deposition by rivers flowing from the inland mountain ranges. This story is etched into the

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