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Scientists To Capture Aftershocks In Fiordland

NEWS RELEASE 2 NOVEMBER 2000

SCIENTISTS TO CAPTURE AFTERSHOCKS IN FIORDLAND

Scientists from the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS) are travelling to Fiordland to record aftershocks from Wednesday night’s magnitude 6.2 earthquake off the Fiordland coast.

The aftershocks, which are expected to continue for the next two weeks, would be recorded on portable instruments, GNS seismologist Terry Webb said.

At least three significant aftershocks were recorded in the first 12 hours after the initial earthquake. The activity is occurring at the boundary of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates.

Analysis of aftershocks would help pinpoint the fault involved, and would help scientists understand how the Australian Plate is being subducted under the Pacific Plate off the Fiordland coast.

The information would also help to show how stress is transferred in the Earth between successive earthquakes.

“ Understanding the mechanisms involved will improve the knowledge of earthquake hazards in the South Island,” Dr Webb said.

Fiordland is known for its large shallow earthquakes. Two notable recent quakes were the magnitude 6.8 Secretary Island quake in August 1993, and the magnitude 6.4 Doubtful Sound quake in May 1989.
ENDS

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