Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


How prepared are we for a major marine earthquake?


How prepared are we for a major marine earthquake?

This week, New Zealand’s leading coastal scientists, engineers and planners are attending the New Zealand Coastal Society 20th Annual Conference in Auckland. At the conference, NIWA’s Dr Philip Barnes will explore the question of how well do we know New Zealand’s submarine earthquake hazards.

Drawing on NIWA’s experience from Canterbury earthquakes, and how this work feeds into a bigger picture of earthquake risk in New Zealand, Dr Barnes says, “We have to be prepared for these sorts of marine earthquakes in many New Zealand locations.”

GNS Science has recently led a major revision of the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM), and have worked closely with NIWA to capture submarine faulting. The model includes a range of earthquake hazard estimates.

A number of newly-identified active fault sources have recently been incorporated into the NSHM model, increasing the total by around 200, to about 530. The recent increase is largely attributed to the inclusion of the newly-identified offshore fault sources, including previously unknown faults in the bedrock under Pegasus Bay, Canterbury.

A particularly large offshore fault was discovered when NIWA's research vessel Kaharoa conducted a seismic survey of 800 square kilometres in southern Pegasus Bay, shortly after the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

In the last decade, there have been many major earthquakes causing severe ground-shaking and tsunamis around the world. The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 killed more than 200,000 people and resulted in widespread destruction. One of the most powerful earthquakes on record struck the north-east coast of Japan in 2011, triggering massive tsunami waves with up to 40 metres of run-up height.

“There are many earthquake faults on the seafloor around our coasts, and the next major earthquake could be centred offshore. So it highlights the need for coastal marine investigations of active earthquake faulting, for both ground-shaking hazards and tsunamis,” says Dr Barnes.

“NIWA’s geosciences team responded rapidly to the Canterbury earthquakes, working closely with the Natural Hazards Research Platform and other authorities to inform the recovery.”

Some locally significant changes in probabilistic earthquake hazard were observed in some areas when the methodology of the NSHM was revised, and the large number of new active fault sources were included in the model.

“If a major earthquake occurs on a seafloor fault, we might already have information about that fault.

“We also now have some experience in how to respond and learn more about the cause of a major earthquake if such an event occurs. The more background information we have on active faults, the better,” says Dr Barnes.

“We have worked offshore from Fiordland, right through Canterbury, Marlborough, Cook Strait, Kapiti, Hikurangi margin (on the east coast of the North Island), New Plymouth and Bay of Plenty. We’ve identified faults and characterised them, and in some areas we are now working on the history of past earthquakes.”

The New Zealand NSHM project is a collaboration between GNS Science and NIWA, with input from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Canterbury. The new model informs engineering design and the insurance sector.

“Incorporating the NIWA offshore active fault data into the NSHM is a shining example of our very fruitful GNS-NIWA collaboration” says Mark Stirling, leader of the NSHM project.

The New Zealand Coastal Society Annual Conference – ‘Making Waves, 20 years and beyond’ is being held 14 – 16 November 2012, at the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron in Auckland.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news