- Food and water for at least three days. PHOTO: PROJECTAF8.CO.NZ “What we know about the Alpine Fault is that it tends to produce big earthquakes, roughly every 300 years,” Dr Orchiston said. A simulation shows the widespread damage that could occur if the South Island's Alpine Fault ruptures. There is also another that in its own way is relevant to Christchurch – showing what WILL happen when the Alpine fault goes next time. . 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. It shows a rupture starting at the southern end of the Southern Alps and moving north toward Wellington. The last time it did this was in 1717, when it produced about 8m of horizontal movement. "If you're living on land that doesn't liquefy, then an Alpine Fault earthquake is unlikely to cause damage to your home in Christchurch," he said. The investigation found the mean interval between large earthquakes on the fault is 330 years and two thirds of the intervals were between 260 and 400 years. The Alpine Fault is a clearly marked topographic feature cutting obliquely across the South Island. It now has a 28% probability of rupturing in the next 50 years, which is high by global standards. He wants to raise awareness, not alarm, so people can be fully prepared. The earthquake will last for about two minutes. The Alpine Fault is called a strike slip or transform fault. 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. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault, known as a right-lateral strike-slip fault, that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's South Island. * Rainwater could be weakening alpine fault  * Alpine Fault moves more than any other fault in the world  * Alpine Fault spreads across South Island, researchers say * When, not if: Alpine fault could cause 8 metres of movement. The Alpine Fault stretches for hundreds of miles (kilometres) like a spine along New Zealand's South Island. "There are things we can do about that . The mountains are rising at 7 millimetres a year, but erosion wears them down at a similar rate. 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. The opposite sides have slid sideways past each other for 480 kilometres over the last 15–20 million years, separating rocks that were originally joined together. A number of outstanding problems remain in regard to the Alpine Fault, two of which are: "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.". While we can’t predict when earthquakes will occur, scientific research has shown that the Alpine Fault has an remarkably regular history of producing large earthquakes. / Earthquakes The length of the rupture will be up to 400 km, eg. "Given what we know from geological studies of the Alpine Fault, we're anticipating a major magnitude 8.0-plus earthquake, rupturing 500km of the crust, so the shaking will be felt throughout the South Island, but the intensity and duration will ultimately depend on what happens on the fault." . / Science Topics Brendon Bradley has been using 3D computer modelling to predict what a major earthquake on the alpine fault could feel like. The Alpine Fault How scientists study the fault Scientists documented 24 regular M8 quakes along the fault over the last 8,000 years, averaging every 330 years. The last one was in 1717, 302 years ago, so a big one is coming. At 3 AM on May 29, 2013, the South Island’s technological uncon­scious roars […] The Southern Alps have been uplifted on the fault over the last 12 million years in a series of earthquakes. 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. Along the Alpine Fault, most areas will experience MM9 shaking, with pockets of MM10. Bradley said emergency resources would be stretched if a major earthquake struck, and people could expect to "feel far more alone". . Click here for more details of these findings. / Major Faults in New Zealand Based on this 8000-year history, it seems that the Alpine fault is relatively regular in how often it has earthquakes: more so than the San Andreas Fault in California, for example. by removing some of the really susceptible parts [of the hills]," he said. In between earthquakes, the Alpine Fault is locked. You stated, after giving testimony at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Building Failures in the Christchurch Earthquake, “Absorbing all liability creates a moral hazard. However, most of the motion on the fault is strike-slip (side to side), with the Tasman district and West Coast moving North and Canterbury and Otagomoving South. 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. The shortest gap between quakes was 140 years, and the longest 510. "The surface expression of the Alpine Fault is remarkably clear, but there is some debate about the shape of the fault as it goes several kilometres underground. "Given what we know from geological studies of the Alpine Fault, we're anticipating a major magnitude 8.0-plus earthquake, rupturing 500km of the crust, so the shaking will be felt throughout the South Island, but the intensity and duration will ultimately depend on what happens on the fault." - Toilet paper and large rubbish bags for your emergency toilet. Just-released videos have shown what would happen in the event of a major quake along the South Island's big-risk Alpine Fault. Alpine Fault Project Releases Video Series to Mark Major Milestone. It may be a fault zone in that it contains lesser faults, but the associated faults will be distinctly minor, closely related, and clearly part of the main fault … The Alpine Fault is a big feature of South Island geography and seismic activity. The shaking in Christchurch, as some below have identified, will be slow and rolly, you will not reach the intensity that the greendale sequence did and definitely not Feb 22 levels. The Alpine Fault ruptures—on average—every 330 years with a magnitude 8 earthquake. The Alpine Fault runs for about 600km along the west of the Southern Alps. He stressed the importance of being prepared, as main roading routes between Canterbury and the West Coast could be cut off. / Learning Each time it has ruptured, it has also moved vertically, lifting the Southern Alps in the process. The Alpine Fault runs 400km up the South Island, along the western edge of the Southern Alps. 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. Since the fault has major earthquakes about every 330 years, and the most recent one was 295 years ago, it’s likely to go … It could cause horizontal movement of up to eight metres. Approximate rupture dates are 1717AD, 1620 AD, 1450 AD, and 1100 AD. 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. It forms a transform boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. There is a chance that the Alpine Fault will rupture in the next 50 to 100 years. The Alpine Fault: when AF8 goes big! "Given what we know from geological studies of the Alpine Fault, we're anticipating a major magnitude 8.0-plus earthquake, rupturing 500km of the crust, so the shaking will be felt throughout the South Island, but the intensity and duration will ultimately depend on what happens on the fault." A graphic shows an indicative line of the Alpine Fault in relation to Wanaka and Queenstown. Earthquakes along the fault, and the associated earth movements, have formed the Southern Alps. 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. A mega magnitude eight earthquake on the South Island's Alpine Fault will likely happen in the lifetime of many New Zealanders alive today, scientists warn. GNS science said there was a 30 per cent chance of a large earthquake on the Alpine Fault in the next 50 years. It’s the "on-land" boundary of the Pacific and Australian Plates. Explore the Alpine Fault, one of Earth's most impressive geological features, where a big earthquake happens about every 300 years and where one is likely in our lifetimes. The Alpine Fault has a high probability (estimated at 30%) of rupturing in the next 50 years. It would be more of a rolling motion for people in Christchurch, because of their distance away from the fault, he said. It forms a transform boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. This fault has ruptured four times in the past 900 years, each time producing an earthquake of about magnitude 8. Each time it breaks in an earthquake, it has also moved upwards. 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. Potentially there are a lot of things that can happen when and how the Alpine fault goes. The Alpine Fault, which runs for about 600km up the spine of the South Island, is one of the world’s major geological features. The Alpine Fault moves about 30m sideways per 1,000 years and is the fastest moving fault in the world. At 3 AM on May 29, 2013, the South Island’s technological uncon­scious roars […] / Alpine Fault, The Alpine Fault is spectacularly marked out on satellite images by the western edge of the Southern Alps snowline. part of Project AF8 (Alpine Fault magnitude 8). McFadgen, B.G. The Alpine Fault has a high probability (estimated at 30%) of rupturing in the next 50 years. By analysing sediment deposited at two sites in Fiordland – John O’Groats and Hokuri Creek – during previous earthquakes, scientists have established that the Alpine Fault has ruptured 27 times over the last 8000 years. The surface rupture has extended into the north section of the fault as far as the Haupiri River area, which is 25 km northeast of the Alpine Fault junction with the Hope Fault. and Goff, J. As with many natural systems, there was a spread of intervals with the longest being about 510 years and the shortest about 140 years. Each time the fault 'ruptures' it causes a quake around magnitude 8. 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. 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An Alpine Fault earthquake will: Likely rupture along a larger area of the fault (several hundreds of kilometres) It will last longer (hundreds of seconds rather than tens of seconds) Home * When, not if: Alpine fault could cause 8 metres of movement GNS science said there was a 30 per cent chance of a large earthquake on the Alpine Fault in the next 50 years. Other problems were more likely to be an issue, such as damage to underground pipes, and major landslides along the South Island's main highways. That's described as "very destructive;" weak buildings will fall down and many more will be damaged. There is also another that in its own way is relevant to Christchurch – showing what WILL happen when the Alpine fault goes next time. The damaging Christchurch earthquakes ranged from magnitude 4.9 to 7.1 but what will happen when the Alpine fault goes and produces an 8, similar to the ’quakes in Japan? 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. The rapid uplift also means that faulted rock from deep down has been brought to the surface, and can be studied by scientists. Fault line . Newsweek subscription offers > The Alpine Fault is one of the world's major plate boundaries and New Zealand's most hazardous earthquake-generating fault. Civil Defence recommends preparing essential emergency items, including: - Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch. Earthquakes along the fault, and the associated earth movements, have formed the Southern Alps. 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. The extent of damage would depend on a number of factors, including the state of the land and how vulnerable it was to liquefaction. Landslides would close major highways for up to six months, isolating communities and limiting food supplies across the South Island in the event of an Alpine Fault rupture. Scientists are trying to understand how the Alpine Fault works and how a really big … READ MORE: * Scientists digging into new part of South Island's Alpine Fault  * Who will pay for Franz Josef? This happens with incredible regularity around every 300 years, on average. In the last 12 million years the Southern Alps have been uplifted by an amazing 20 kilometres, and it is only the fast pace of erosion that has kept their highest point below 4000 metres. He hoped public pressure on the Government would result in action. The average slip rates in the fault's central region are abo… All these things mean that the Alpine Fault is a globally significant geological structure. An Alpine Fault earthquake will likely rupture a larger fault length (several hundreds of kilometres rather than several tens of kilometres) over a longer period of time (100s of seconds rather than tens of seconds) and affect a much larger area than the Darfield earthquake. The Alpine Fault ruptures—on average—every 330 years with a magnitude 8 earthquake. New research out today reveals that the Alpine Fault - a strike-slip fault running almost the entire length of the South Island - is surprisingly "well-behaved" in its regularity. on Haast and spreading north to Ahaura. 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. Movement on the Alpine Fault. This trip runs from 3-5 November . In between earthquakes, the Alpine Fault is locked. The Australian plate is sliding horizontally towards the north-east, at the same time as the Pacific plate is pushing up, forming the Southern Alps. The central and southern parts of the Alpine Fault run for about 400 kilometres up the spine of the South Island, and are about 40 times longer than the fault responsible for the fatal February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. - Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor shoes. In earthquake terms, t Alpine Fault: A single, relatively discrete fault surface within the Alpine Fault Zone, and its immediately associated pug, breccia, and minor faults. One interesting feature of the fault is that vigorous uplift and erosion have beautifully exposed a thick cross-section of the crust that provides fresh samples of the deep fault surface. There is no way of predicting exactly when an earthquake will happen. An earlier event at around 1600 AD can be recognised throughout the study area, and this is the most recent event in the trench locations north of the Haupiri River. The glaciers and rivers have removed the rest of the material and spread it out across the lowland plains or onto the sea floor. ©NASA. and Goff, J. But good behaviour, in a scientific sense, may not bring much comfort to South Islanders. It has ruptured four times in the last 900 years, resulting in earthquakes of around magnitude 8, and is now considered highly probable to go again in the next 50 years. The duration depends on the rupture length and then what happens afterwards. McFadgen, B.G. Horizontal movement of the Alpine Fault is about 30m per 1000 years — very fast by global standards. It is the boundary between the Pacific … The Alpine Fault, which runs for 650km along the spine of the Southern Alps, produces an earthquake of about magnitude 8 on average every 330 years. The Alpine fault, on New Zealand's South Island, is a large oblique-thrust fault that causes magnitude 7.9 earthquakes every few centuries. A big quake on the Alpine Fault could block South Island highways in more than 120 places and leave 10,000 people cut off, new research has estimated. Recent research (published in 2012) by GNS Science has extended our knowledge of the Alpine fault earthquake record back through the past 8000 years. . Right now, we've had an extremely large earthquake that has occurred near the Hope Fault and many other larger faults that feed into the Alpine Fault. The alpine fault earthquake will alter tectonic stress distribution, and other faultlines may rupture in the days or years following it. 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