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Geotechnical Implications of the 2010-2011 Canterbury (New Zealand) Earthquake Sequence

09 April 2014
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Event type:
Organised by:
Engineering Group
The Geological Society, Burlington House, London
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In September 2010, February 2011 and June 2011 three large shallow earthquakes occurred in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. The magnitude of the first major earthquake in the sequence was M 7.1, the second M 6.3 and the third M 6.0. The epicentre of the 2010 earthquake was 44 km to the west of the central business district (CBD) of Christchurch - which, with a population of 390,300, is the second largest city in New Zealand - whilst the epicentres of both 2011 earthquakes were 6 km from the CBD. Although of a lower magnitude than the September 2010 earthquake, mainly as a result of the proximity of the epicentres to the CBD and the eastern and southern suburbs of Christchurch, the 2011 earthquakes resulted in significantly greater groundshock in these areas. This explains why the lower magnitude earthquakes had a more destructive effect on structures and lifelines; with a resulting greater number of casualties in the first of these. Geotechnical observations and implications of these earthquakes, such as surface fault rupture, rockfalls, liquefaction and lateral spreading will be discussed.


The lecture will be broadcast as a live webcast. Watch the lecture live online.


Prof. Mike Davies



Further Information

For further information please email Tom Casey