Surface rupture of the Greendale Fault during the Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake, New Zealand

Initial findings

  • M. Quigley University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • R. Van Dissen GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • P. Villamor GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • N. Litchfield GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • D. Barrell GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • K. Furlong Penn State University, USA
  • T. Stahl University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • B. Duffy University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • E. Bilderback University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • D. Noble University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • D. Townsend GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • J. Begg GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • R. Jongens GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • W. Ries GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • J. Claridge University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • A. Klahn University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • H. Mackenzie University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • A. Smith University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • S. Hornblow University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • R. Nicol University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • S. Cox GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • R. Langridge GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  • K. Pedley University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract

The Mw 7.1 Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake of 4 September 2010 (NZST) was the first earthquake in New Zealand to produce ground-surface fault rupture since the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake. Surface rupture of the previously unrecognised Greendale Fault during the Darfield earthquake extends for at least 29.5 km and comprises an en echelon series of east-west striking, left-stepping traces. Displacement is predominantly dextral strike-slip, averaging ~2.5 m, with maxima of ~5 m along the central part of the rupture. Maximum vertical displacement is ~1.5 m, but generally < 0.75 m. The south side of the fault has been uplifted relative to the north for ~80% of the rupture length, except at the eastern end where the north side is up. The zone of surface rupture deformation ranges in width from ~30 to 300 m, and comprises discrete shears, localised bulges and, primarily, horizontal dextral flexure. At least a dozen buildings were affected by surface rupture, but none collapsed, largely because most of the buildings were relatively flexible and robust timber-framed structures and because deformation was distributed over tens to hundreds of metres width. Many linear features, such as roads, fences, power lines, and irrigation ditches were offset or deformed by fault rupture, providing markers for accurate determinations of displacement.

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Published
2010-12-31
How to Cite
Quigley, M., Van Dissen, R., Villamor, P., Litchfield, N., Barrell, D., Furlong, K., Stahl, T., Duffy, B., Bilderback, E., Noble, D., Townsend, D., Begg, J., Jongens, R., Ries, W., Claridge, J., Klahn, A., Mackenzie, H., Smith, A., Hornblow, S., Nicol, R., Cox, S., Langridge, R., & Pedley, K. (2010). Surface rupture of the Greendale Fault during the Darfield (Canterbury) earthquake, New Zealand. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 43(4), 236-242. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.43.4.236-242
Section
Articles

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