NASA releases images showing new Kaikoura quake land

  • 04/12/2016
A satellite image of Kaikoura after the earthquake (NASA)
A satellite image of Kaikoura after the earthquake (NASA)

United States space agency NASA has released satellite images showing land lifted from the sea near Kaikoura by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake last month which may "stay put".

An image from the European Space Agency's Sentinel Two satellite shows the newly exposed land ringing the Kaikoura Peninsula.

NASA releases images showing new Kaikoura quake land

Kaikoura before the quake (Supplied/NASA)

NASA releases images showing new Kaikoura quake land

Kaikoura after the quake (Supplied/NASA)

The quake on November 14 (NZ time) lifted the seabed by 0.5 to 2m along a 20km stretch of the Kaikoura coast. In one area, the uplift was 5.5m.

While beaches raised by earthquakes occasionally sink back down gradually or get pushed down by other earthquakes, the New Zealand coast is full of historical examples of earthquake uplifted land staying put, NASA says.

"Most likely, the new land along the Kaikoura coast is there to stay."

In 1931, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake at Hawke's Bay raised land around the city of Napier by between 1m to 2m and a magnitude 8.2 earthquake in 1855 raised much of Wellington by the same amount. 

NZN