[Chapter Break] After their ground breaking paper on the Alpine Fault, Willett (File photo). "The next step is to plan in more detail for a coordinated response to those impacts and the extensive disruption they will cause. We don't have enough data to say. Mapping has shown the Alpine Fault runs directly under some Franz Josef businesses, including the petrol station, the Helicopter Line offices and part of … There was evidence of 27 ruptures in the southern section, with a 291-year recurrence interval and an average slip of about 29mm a year. "But we don't really know any more than that. The massive Alpine Fault is due for another big earthquake and scientists have been drawing up a scenario of what the devastation would look like. It runs northeast from the northern side of the entrance to Milford Sound, along the western side of the Southern Alps for about 800 kilometres before morphing into the Marlborough fault system beyond St Arnaud. Stuff has the latest information on this: Videos show devastating impact across South Island if Alpine Fault ruptures Video simulations demonstrate widespread destruction across the South Island if New Zealand’s most dangerous fault line ruptures, and there’s evidence the country is due for another big one. It's a puzzle. It's about whether that provides some protection for those population centres in Marlborough and Wellington further down the fault. ProjectAF8 is a South Island-wide effort to co-ordinate planning and preparation for a severe earthquake on the fault. But there was only evidence of two ruptures in the "under-studied" northern section, which meant a robust recurrence internal could not be calculated. Scientists have established that the fault … (File photo), Investigations of the Alpine Fault at Inchbonnie near the Taramakau River have been carried out by studying trenches dug across the fault and by using ground-penetrating radar. The two quakes they had found evidence for were the big quake in 1717 and the more recent quake, sometime between 1740 and 1840, he said. GNS Science earthquake geologist Robert Langridge has been studying why the Alpine Fault is so susceptible to earthquakes - it's since been discovered that it may be the world's fastest-moving known fault line. Take a look at the site where scientists have drilled into the Alpine Fault and find out what they hope to discover. The geology of the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island is divided in two by the Alpine Fault, which runs through the Region in a North-East direction. Project AF8 Steering Group chairman Angus McKay, from Emergency Management Southland, said some of New Zealand's best scientific minds had worked together to produce a credible scenario for what would happen with the next major earthquake on fault line. "We have used that scenario to work with our partners to identify the foreseeable impacts on communities and critical infrastructure across the South Island," he said. [2] Ruptures occurred on multiple faults and the earthquake has been described as the "most complex earthquake ever studied". GNS details on the Alpine Fault The Alpine Fault, which runs for about 600km up the spine of the South Island, is one of the world’s major geological features. The Alpine Fault runs almost the entire length of the South Island, and an earthquake there will be felt by much of the country. Geologists and authorities are racing to quantify what might happen, and how they might respond in the event of the next one, likely to occur some time in the next 50 years. "We would like to make sure that you are prepared for a large earthquake at all times." This news article from Stuff covers some research on the frequency of past earthquakes along the Alpine fault. Studies at Alpine Fault excavation sites showed a large earthquake occurred on the fault every 300 years or so, with the last one occurring in 1717. The Southern Alps have been uplifted on the fault over the last 12 million years in a series of earthquakes. The Alpine Fault is the boundary between the Pacific crustal plate and the Australian plate. The Alpine Fault quickly became accepted as a notable feature of the geology of New Zealand, and by 1948 was included on standard geological maps. The Alpine Fault runs hundreds of kilometres up the spine of the South Island, from Fiordland along the western edge of the Southern Alps. Despite its obvious tectonic significance, the Alpine fault has not ruptured since European settlement in the 1840s. Project Alpine Fault Magnitude 8 (AF8) released a series of videos on Wednesday, warning there's compelling geological evidence to show it produces a significant earthquake of magnitude eight or greater every 300 years on average. Dr Caroline Orchiston explains the Alpine Fault and the damage the earthquake will have. The catastrophic threat the South Island's Alpine Fault poses to New Zealand has been front and centre of a Civil Defence conference in Queenstown today. Video simulations demonstrate widespread destruction across the South Island if New Zealand's most dangerous fault line ruptures, and there's evidence the country is due for another big one. It would be more of a rolling motion for people in Christchurch, because of their distance away from the fault… The Alpine Fault. Howarth said each section had its own characteristics. 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