Kaikoura seabed lift explained

  • 22/11/2016
1.5 metre high earthquake "scar" (GNS Science)
1.5 metre high earthquake "scar" (GNS Science)

When parts of the Kaikōura seabed were raised above the water in Monday's 7.8 earthquake, they ruptured along the coast at 3km/s.

GNS Science has released a new video showing parts of the seabed at the south end of Waipapa Bay 1.5 metres higher than they were eight days ago.

Scientist Kelvin Berryman explains the movement along the Papatea fault.

"What's really interesting is that we can see lines of movement here on this fault plane, which are moving down a little bit in this fashion [moves hands diagonally]."

Mr Berryman goes on to explain how the 1.5m movement wasn't straight up and down, rather on a light incline towards the sea.

"We know from earthquake physics that probably this fault scar ruptured across here at a speed of about three kilometres per second."

The movement also created a lot of noise when the earthquake happened.

"The locals here describe not the earthquake noise but the noise of water running across the top of this uplifted platform here. They said the noise was just horrendous."

As the rock has risen out of the sea it has taken fish and crayfish with it, which can be seen lying dead on the rocks.


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