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Q&As

Kaikoura earthquake – Expert Q&A with GeoNet

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 21st, 2016.

Scientists are still unravelling what happened a week ago on several faults near Kaikoura and Culverden. We asked GeoNet scientists about what they have been finding out. What do we know about the possibility of stress added to neighbouring faults? “We understand this is an important question. We are currently developing the model for this […]

Canterbury tsunami following earthquake confirmed – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 18th, 2016.

Scientists have confirmed a tsunami did occur along the Canterbury coastline following Monday morning’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. It reinforces the correct decision people made to self-evacuate in the wee hours of the morning. Dr Matthew Hughes, lecturer in geohazards, risk and resilience, University of Canterbury “Following the ongoing earthquake sequence in North Canterbury that began […]

Confusion over tsunami warnings – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 18th, 2016.

As the bustle of the first few days after this week’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake begins to settle, questions are turning toward the confused tsunami messages sent in the wee hours of Monday morning. After the earthquake struck at 12.02am and automated estimates initially estimated the magnitude as 6.8 (it was later upgraded to 7.5 and several […]

Earthquake-damaged buildings – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 18th, 2016.

Despite Wellington not being at the epicentre of Monday morning’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake, it suffered extensive damage to buildings – particularly the Statistics NZ building on the waterfront in which a floor tipped on an angle. Engineers commented on the damage and why some buildings were more affected than others. Professor John Tookey, Head of […]

Kaikoura earthquake recovery – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 17th, 2016.

As tourists are evacuated from Kaikoura – isolated by road since Monday morning’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake – attention is starting to turn to the recovery process. Reopening the state highway and strengthening alternative routes will be critical to connecting Kaikoura and surrounding rural communities with essential supply lines. Jersey Seipel is a lecturer in humanitarian […]

Earthquakes and landslides – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 17th, 2016.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck North Canterbury on Monday morning caused numerous landslides, blocking roads and damming rivers. Early estimates suggest there could be tens of thousands of landslides through the area, causing hazards such as blocked rivers which could result in floodwaters if the dams break. Dr Tom Wilson and Professor Tim Davies […]

Day 3: Kaikoura earthquake, what do we know? — In The News

Tessa Evans posted in on November 16th, 2016.

Rather than the initial reports of a single 7.5-magnitude earthquake based near Hanmer Springs the now-named Kaikoura quake is believed to be a multiple rupture involving four faults, with the two-minute long event actually comprising of a reverse fault thrust near Culverden, and a series of strike slip thrusts near Kaikoura heading northward towards Wellington. […]

Marine uplift from Kaikoura earthquake – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 16th, 2016.

Among the startling images of landslides, broken roads and railway tracks tossed aside by Monday morning’s Kaikoura earthquake, we’ve also seen pictures of coastal areas thrust upward and out of the water. We asked marine experts about what happened. Dr Joshu Mountjoy, marine geologist, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) “Multiple tectonic fault […]

Responding to the Monster – Reflections on Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 16th, 2016.

GeoNet’s director Dr Ken Gledhill wrote a heartfelt post about Monday morning’s magnitude 7.5 earthquake and the resulting tsunami warning. [Note: since this was written, the November 14 earthquake has been upgraded to magnitude 7.8.] An excerpt (read in full): M7.5 Earthquake: a monster in the making As a geophysicist, there are a few important […]

Earthquake effect on tourism – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 15th, 2016.

Over the coming days and weeks the full impact of Monday morning’s Kaikoura earthquake will become apparent. We asked an expert in the effect of natural disasters on tourism what the recovery of this tourist town might look like. Dr Caroline Orchiston, Deputy Director, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago How do natural disasters like […]

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