Dom Post: Scientists look into why fault ruptured

Kiran Chug writes in the Dominion Post about the work faced by scientists in trying to understand what made the fault underlying Tuesday’s earthquake so stressed, and how the earthquake might have impacted other fault areas – particularly those already believed to be under stress following the Darfield earthquake.

Calculations done after September’s Darfield earthquake had not identified the area underlying last week’s earthquake to be high risk.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Seismologists wanted to understand more about the mechanics of Tuesday’s 6.3 quake and what impact it could have on other faults – particularly those already believed to be very stressed after the Darfield event.

“”A lot of our efforts are going into understanding this problem.”

“One area which had been identified as particularly stressed had been Hororata on the Canterbury plains, which had had aftershocks since September 4.

“Scientists were also working on understanding why Tuesday’s earthquake produced ground shaking or acceleration at 1.88 times the force of gravity, which Dr Fry said was “extremely high” for the magnitude.

“However, its shallow depth in soft soils would have contributed, as would the possibility that “seismic waves” reflected off Banks Peninsula and bounced back to Christchurch.”