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Kaikōura quake, two years on: GNS Science looks back

Kaikōura quake, two years on: GNS Science looks back, and forward

Two years ago, a magnitude 7.8 quake near Kaikōura dramatically changed part of New Zealand’s landscape. This week, GNS Science experts look back on the most complex earthquake ever studied – and consider the implications for the future.

In a special series to mark the anniversary, GeoNet will look at how the quake unfolded, how the community responded and what GNS scientists have learned.

A new video features GNS Science earthquake geologist Robert Langridge as he revisits the Papatea Fault, one of the many ruptures which occurred that night.

He points out a previously flat road which now slopes dramatically upwards – on the night, it was thrust up by up to 10 metres, a world-record vertical displacement for an on-land fault.

The video also shows how the Clarence River was diverted by the quake, eroding roads and farmland.

You can watch the video here:

Other stories during the week will cover the following:
• How landslides caused by the Kaikōura quake will pose a hazard for many years to come
• What Kaikōura can tell GNS social scientists about Kiwis’ preparedness for such big events
• GNS Science’s new networks for seismic monitoring in the upper South Island
The series can be accessed at


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