BIG ONE WARNING: New Zealand in store for ‘EXTREME’ earthquake as fault lines collide

Thursday, May 18, 2017
By Paul Martin

NEW Zealand could be in store for a devastating earthquake in the coming years with two fault zones set to collide.

Thu, May 18, 2017

The Oceanic country is still coming to terms with the damage caused by the 2011 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch which claimed the lives of almost 200 people.

Researchers are now warning New Zealanders to brace themselves for a quake which could measure 8.0 on the Richter Scale in the coming years.

The experts behind the study say that a collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates – a 500 kilometre stretch known as the Alpine Fault – takes place every 300 years or so, with the last one happening in 1717.

When the collision does happen, the fault will rupture in “an extreme magnitude 8 earthquake in the coming decades”, the team from the Vitoria University of Wellington wrote in their study published in Nature.

Rupert Sutherland, professor of tectonics and geophysics at the Victoria University of Wellington, wrote in an article for The Conversation: “It is expected to rupture in a major earthquake in the next few decades and, even though this may not happen in the next 30 years or even 100 years, we know that the fault is at the end of its seismic cycle.

“Other projects around the world have drilled into major faults, but usually just after a major earthquake.

“The Deep Fault Drilling Project, which involved more than 100 scientists from 12 countries, gave us an opportunity to take a close look at a fault as it builds up to its next rupture.

“It is the first time this has ever been done on a major fault that is due to fail in coming decades.”

The Rest…HERE

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