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

 


Scientists Investigate Tsunami Potential In Kaikoura Canyon

Scientists Investigate Tsunami Potential In Kaikoura Canyon

Scientists will be working off the east coast of the South Island next week investigating the potential for a landslide tsunami in the head of the Kaikoura Canyon.


The Kaikoura Canyon is up to 2000 metres deep in places and comes within 500 metres of the coast south of Kaikoura, closer than any other New Zealand submarine canyon.


It is in an active seismic region, with faults such as the nearby Hope Fault capable of producing large earthquakes.


Last year NIWA scientists successfully mapped the shallow reaches of the canyon between Oaro and Goose Bay. The Kaikoura Canyon investigation is part of an ongoing programme with Environment Canterbury to understand the hazard posed to the Canterbury coastline from tsunamis.


That project is now being followed up by fieldwork from NIWA’s research vessel Ikatere to assess the strength of sediment layers at the canyon head.


NIWA marine geologist and project leader Dr Joshu Mountjoy says the seafloor drops off steeply into the Kaikoura Canyon.


“Our work last year showed us that several different types of landslides can occur here, and we need to understand what will happen to the rock and sediment during an earthquake,” Dr Mountjoy said.


Determining the strength of the sediment layers will enable the scientists to figure out what changes are needed to make it slide. If the layer is weak it will slide easily, but denser layers are likely to be stronger and more stable.


Understanding more about the hazard potential in the canyon will enable vulnerable coastal communities to build resilience and be better prepared for natural hazards.


“It is very important to understand how big these tsunamis can be, and where and when they might occur,” Dr Mountjoy said. “This fieldwork will fill in a significant piece of the puzzle and will enable us to undertake sophisticated numerical modelling to better understand the landslide tsunami potential.”


Dr Mountjoy will be joined on the research vessel by doctorate students from the University of Canterbury and the University of Bremen in Germany. The team will use a new coring system to retrieve sediment from a range of water depths for testing in the engineering laboratory at the University of Canterbury.


A state-of-the-art free-fall Dynamic Cone Penetration (CPT) system from the Marine Geotechnics department at the University of Bremen will be used to measure the strength of the sediment. The CPT is also used to see if there is any pressure within the sediment that might weaken the slopes and make it easier for landslides to occur.


“Geotechnical measurements will allow us to use numerical modelling to determine the response of the shallow seabed to future earthquakes,” Dr Mountjoy said.


The Kaikoura District Council, Civil Defence and Environment Canterbury are holding a Community Preparedness/Tsunami Information roadshow on March 19 and 20 in Kaikoura, Clarence and Goose Bay.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

The Nation: Call For Cross-Party Auckland Housing Plan

Penny Hulse calls for cross-party accord on Auckland housing because “it’s too important to score political points on”. More>>

ALSO:

Flu Season: Overcoming Vaccination Reluctance

While research shows that 40% of New Zealand businesses offer free or subsidised flu vaccinations to employees this time of year, HR professionals say persuading staff to participate is the biggest challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news