The extent of damage would depend on a number of factors, including the state of the land and how vulnerable it was to liquefaction. The key to evaluating a broader range of earthquake rupture scenarios could lie in newly-developed methods of extracting information from background seismic noise - or what Townend called the Earth's "hum". The next major rupture of the South Island's Alpine Fault will prove one of the largest - if not the biggest - that earthquakes Kiwis have ever experienced. That said, from what we do know, there will be a large earthquake on the Alpine fault in the not-too-distant geological future, and it would be no surprise if it happened tomorrow. “Now that we have that understanding, we can prepare for it better, and hopefully we can lessen the impact it has on us as a society.”. The alpine fault earthquake will alter tectonic stress distribution, and other faultlines may rupture in the days or years following it. Photo / Getty Images. The new study is being supported with a $960,000 grant from the Marsden Fund. The Alpine Fault project will be one of the first attempts to probe the inside of a major fault before it ruptures. "By analysing these rupture scenarios mathematically, you can calculate the ground shaking in different places – but you can realistically only do that for a limited range of scenarios because simulating the propagation of seismic waves through complex geological structures is a very large computational task.". Techniques for extracting those signals from the noise recordings have been developed by members of the team and applied successfully to faults in California and Japan. "This enables us to compute realistic ground-shaking in population centres and at other vulnerable locations in response to many more earthquake rupture scenarios than can be practicably studied using conventional approaches," Townend said. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault, specifically a right-lateral strike-slip fault, that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's South Island. Geologists and authorities are racing to quantify what might happen, and how they might respond in the event of the next one, likely to occur some time in the next 50 years. . – Food and water for at least three days. The last major earthquake on the Alpine Fault was in 1717, so we're already a little overdue for one of the biggest earthquakes in New Zealand's modern history. Here's what experts say could happen when it hits the West Coast. Open, casual and free forum where you can: post and share news events, discuss, debate, learn, or share your knowledge with others or just observe quietly...you're in control! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! a smaller group of scientists drilled two boreholes to about 150m into the fault, also near Whataroa, in early 2011. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's South Island (c. 480 km) and forms the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. Newshub staff. It could cause horizontal movement of up to eight metres. Work during the 1990s has established that the Alpine Fault is a major source of potential seismic hazard and incorporation of data from the fault into seismic hazard maps has greatly changed the perception of earthquake hazard in the South Island. The 600-kilometre fault has ruptured five times in the past 1100 years. The length of the rupture will be … It. In between earthquakes, the Alpine Fault is locked. He stressed the importance of being prepared, as main roading routes between Canterbury and the West Coast could be cut off. "When the Alpine Fault next ruptures, it will produce seismic waves that propagate out in all directions," Townend said. The rupture will produce one of the biggest earthquakes since European settlement of New Zealand, and it will have a major impact on the lives of many people. Now, a team of scientists led by Professor John Townend of Victoria University of Wellington—Te Herenga Waka and Dr Caroline Holden of GNS Science aim to build a state-of-the-art, 3D picture of the ground shaking effects we could expect from future large earthquakes on the fault. "What we're interested in is, how do variations in the likely characteristics of the earthquake affect ground shaking at different locations in the country?". GNS Science sent four of its geologists to Franz Josef to talk about what will happen when the Alpine Fault ruptures. In Christchurch, the shaking from an Alpine Fault rupture might not feel as sharp as the February 2011 earthquake, Bradley said, but it would last a lot longer – about two or three minutes. University of Canterbury earthquake engineering Professor Brendon Bradley has used 3D modelling on New Zealand’s largest supercomputers to predict what a major earthquake on the Alpine Fault could feel like. The San Andreas fault is overdue for a major earthquake also known as "The Big One." – Toilet paper and large rubbish bags for your emergency toilet. The geology of New Zealand makes that an incredibly complex question to answer - but a new study evaluating millions of different earthquake scenarios will give us a much better idea. UC PhD graduate Tom Robinson investigated what would happen in a magnitude 8.0 event on the Alpine Fault, which has about a one-in-three to one-in-four chance of occurring in the next 50 years. Bradley said emergency resources would be stretched if a major earthquake struck, and people could expect to “feel far more alone”. Simulation shows widespread damage if Alpine Fault ruptures. Dr Berryman says his team have put together an 8000-year geological record of the Alpine Fault and discovered ruptures happen, on average, every 330 years. "When the Alpine Fault next ruptures, ... but the intensity and duration will ultimately depend on what happens on the fault." Scientists say the intensity of the shaking in the most affected areas - particularly West Coast spots - could be unlike anything we've felt before. – Wikipedia. Because of the way earthquake magnitude is measured this means that a magnitude 8 earthquake releases about 30 times more energy than a magnitude 7. A simulation shows the widespread damage that could occur if the South Island’s Alpine Fault ruptures. Each time the fault 'ruptures' it causes a quake around magnitude 8. The fault line along the South Island ruptures roughly every 300 years. It last ruptured in 1717 and there is a big earthquake, on average, about every 300 years, but the times vary so there is thought to be about a 30% risk of the next ‘Big One’ in the next fifty years. "But we haven't yet witnessed a rupture of this fault ourselves, so our understanding of what ground motions it will produce is based on hypotheses about how much of the fault ruptures, how fast, and to what depth... and the elastic properties of the Earth," he said. From there, the Alpine Fault runs along the western edge of the Southern Alps, before splitting into a set of smaller dextral strike-slip faults north of Arthur’s Pass, known as the Marlborough Fault System. Scientists, working as part of Project Alpine Fault Magnitude 8 (AF8), have marked the end of their first two years of work planning and preparing … #newzealand WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO REGISTER, LET'S BUILD A GREAT COMMUNITY TOGETHER In earthquake terms, t Scientists, working as part of Project Alpine Fault Magnitude 8 (AF8), have marked the end of their first two years of work planning and preparing for a severe magnitude eight earthquakes. That's described as "very destructive;" weak buildings will fall down and many more will be damaged. Simulation shows widespread damage if Alpine Fault ruptures. The fault runs diagonally through Franz Josef Township and geologists have recommended a “fault avoidance zone” 100 meters either side to protect buildings. The Los Angeles aqueduct could be fortified so that it won’t break when the San Andreas ruptures. GNS science said there was a 30 per cent chance of a large earthquake on the Alpine Fault in the next 50 years. In between earthquakes, the Alpine Fault is locked. "When the Alpine Fault next ruptures, it will produce seismic waves that propagate out in all directions," Townend said. This study builds upon previous investigations in order to develop a better chronology of large earthquakes generated by ruptures on the Alpine Fault. NASA Finds Keyhole-shaped Structure on Mars Too Difficult to Explain! When the Alpine Fault next ruptures it is likely to produce an earthquake with a magnitude of around 8. Recent studies undertaken as part of the joint AF8 project have suggested a big quake could block South Island highways in more than 120 places, leave 10,000 people cut off, and cost the economy about $10b. The first attempts to probe the inside of a major earthquake struck, and other faultlines may rupture the... South Islanders have been uplifted on the West Coast could be fortified so that it ’... Magnitude 8 shows the widespread damage that could occur if the South Island if … in earthquakes. 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