Civil Defence recommends preparing essential emergency items, including: - Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch. READ MORE: * Scientists digging into new part of South Island's Alpine Fault  * Who will pay for Franz Josef? The Alpine Fault is called a strike slip or transform fault. One interesting feature of the fault is that vigorous uplift and erosion have beautifully exposed a thick cross-section of the crust that provides fresh samples of the deep fault surface. The Australian plate is sliding horizontally towards the north-east, at the same time as the Pacific plate is pushing up, forming the Southern Alps. A simulation shows the widespread damage that could occur if the South Island's Alpine Fault ruptures. This happens with incredible regularity around every 300 years, on average. The rapid uplift also means that faulted rock from deep down has been brought to the surface, and can be studied by scientists. The Alpine Fault, which runs for about 600km up the spine of the South Island, is one of the world’s major geological features. There is no way of predicting exactly when an earthquake will happen. * When, not if: Alpine fault could cause 8 metres of movement GNS science said there was a 30 per cent chance of a large earthquake on the Alpine Fault in the next 50 years. The Alpine Fault How scientists study the fault Scientists documented 24 regular M8 quakes along the fault over the last 8,000 years, averaging every 330 years. It forms a transform boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. The Alpine Fault ruptures—on average—every 330 years with a magnitude 8 earthquake. and Goff, J. It shows a rupture starting at the southern end of the Southern Alps and moving north toward Wellington. - Food and water for at least three days. Each time it has ruptured, it has also moved vertically, lifting the Southern Alps in the process. The shortest gap between quakes was 140 years, and the longest 510. It could cause horizontal movement of up to eight metres. It now has a 28% probability of rupturing in the next 50 years, which is high by global standards. An Alpine Fault earthquake will likely rupture a larger fault length (several hundreds of kilometres rather than several tens of kilometres) over a longer period of time (100s of seconds rather than tens of seconds) and affect a much larger area than the Darfield earthquake. The Alpine Fault is a clearly marked topographic feature cutting obliquely across the South Island. By analysing sediment deposited at two sites in Fiordland – John O’Groats and Hokuri Creek – during previous earthquakes, scientists have established that the Alpine Fault has ruptured 27 times over the last 8000 years. An Alpine Fault earthquake will: Likely rupture along a larger area of the fault (several hundreds of kilometres) It will last longer (hundreds of seconds rather than tens of seconds) University of Canterbury earthquake engineering Professor Brendon Bradley has used 3D modelling on New Zealand's largest supercomputers to predict what a major earthquake on the Alpine Fault could feel like. There is a chance that the Alpine Fault will rupture in the next 50 to 100 years. "Given what we know from geological studies of the Alpine Fault, we're anticipating a major magnitude 8.0-plus earthquake, rupturing 500km of the crust, so the shaking will be felt throughout the South Island, but the intensity and duration will ultimately depend on what happens on the fault." The rupture will produce one of the biggest earthquakes since European settlement of New Zealand, and it will have a major impact on the lives of many people. It’s the "on-land" boundary of the Pacific and Australian Plates. . 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. The Southern Alps have been uplifted on the fault over the last 12 million years in a series of earthquakes. The Alpine Fault moves about 30m sideways per 1,000 years and is the fastest moving fault in the world. A graphic shows an indicative line of the Alpine Fault in relation to Wanaka and Queenstown. and Goff, J. Each time the fault 'ruptures' it causes a quake around magnitude 8. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's South Island (c. 480 km) and forms the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. A big quake on the Alpine Fault could block South Island highways in more than 120 places and leave 10,000 people cut off, new research has estimated. - Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor shoes. This trip runs from 3-5 November . ©NASA. There is also another that in its own way is relevant to Christchurch – showing what WILL happen when the Alpine fault goes next time. . Click here for more details of these findings. While we can’t predict when earthquakes will occur, scientific research has shown that the Alpine Fault has an remarkably regular history of producing large earthquakes. This fault has ruptured four times in the past 900 years, each time producing an earthquake of about magnitude 8. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault, specifically a right-lateral strike-slip fault, that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s South Island. It would be more of a rolling motion for people in Christchurch, because of their distance away from the fault, he said. by removing some of the really susceptible parts [of the hills]," he said. . The rupture will produce one of the biggest earthquakes since European settlement of New Zealand, and it will have a major impact on the lives of many people. The Alpine Fault is a big feature of South Island geography and seismic activity. But good behaviour, in a scientific sense, may not bring much comfort to South Islanders. Since the fault has major earthquakes about every 330 years, and the most recent one was 295 years ago, it’s likely to go … That's described as "very destructive;" weak buildings will fall down and many more will be damaged. Scientists are trying to understand how the Alpine Fault works and how a really big … The duration depends on the rupture length and then what happens afterwards. He stressed the importance of being prepared, as main roading routes between Canterbury and the West Coast could be cut off. The damaging Christchurch earthquakes ranged from magnitude 4.9 to 7.1 but what will happen when the Alpine fault goes and produces an 8, similar to the ’quakes in Japan? Potentially there are a lot of things that can happen when and how the Alpine fault goes. * Rainwater could be weakening alpine fault  * Alpine Fault moves more than any other fault in the world  * Alpine Fault spreads across South Island, researchers say * When, not if: Alpine fault could cause 8 metres of movement. The Alpine Fault: when AF8 goes big! 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. Approximate rupture dates are 1717AD, 1620 AD, 1450 AD, and 1100 AD. The Alpine Fault runs 400km up the South Island, along the western edge of the Southern Alps. Explore the Alpine Fault, one of Earth's most impressive geological features, where a big earthquake happens about every 300 years and where one is likely in our lifetimes. "The surface expression of the Alpine Fault is remarkably clear, but there is some debate about the shape of the fault as it goes several kilometres underground. The last one was in 1717, 302 years ago, so a big one is coming. Movement on the Alpine Fault. The Alpine Fault is one of Earth's most impressive geological features and capable of generating big earthquakes; in fact we're already a little overdue for one. / Major Faults in New Zealand It is the boundary between the Pacific … . Recent research (published in 2012) by GNS Science has extended our knowledge of the Alpine fault earthquake record back through the past 8000 years. / Alpine Fault, The Alpine Fault is spectacularly marked out on satellite images by the western edge of the Southern Alps snowline. The Alpine Fault runs for about 600km along the west of the Southern Alps. The alpine fault earthquake will alter tectonic stress distribution, and other faultlines may rupture in the days or years following it. There is also another that in its own way is relevant to Christchurch – showing what WILL happen when the Alpine fault goes next time. Bradley said emergency resources would be stretched if a major earthquake struck, and people could expect to "feel far more alone". In between earthquakes, the Alpine Fault is locked. However, most of the motion on the fault is strike-slip (side to side), with the Tasman district and West Coast moving North and Canterbury and Otagomoving South. A mega magnitude eight earthquake on the South Island's Alpine Fault will likely happen in the lifetime of many New Zealanders alive today, scientists warn. Other problems were more likely to be an issue, such as damage to underground pipes, and major landslides along the South Island's main highways. Each time it breaks in an earthquake, it has also moved upwards. Newsweek subscription offers > The Alpine Fault is one of the world's major plate boundaries and New Zealand's most hazardous earthquake-generating fault. / Science Topics / Earthquakes PHOTO: PROJECTAF8.CO.NZ “What we know about the Alpine Fault is that it tends to produce big earthquakes, roughly every 300 years,” Dr Orchiston said. The average slip rates in the fault's central region are abo… "Now that we have that understanding, we can prepare for it better, and hopefully we can lessen the impact it has on us as a society.". New research out today reveals that the Alpine Fault - a strike-slip fault running almost the entire length of the South Island - is surprisingly "well-behaved" in its regularity. Based on this 8000-year history, it seems that the Alpine fault is relatively regular in how often it has earthquakes: more so than the San Andreas Fault in California, for example. The Alpine Fault stretches for hundreds of miles (kilometres) like a spine along New Zealand's South Island. In between earthquakes, the Alpine Fault is locked. Work during the 1990s has established that the Alpine Fault is a major source of potential seismic hazard and incorporation of data from the fault into seismic hazard maps has greatly changed the perception of earthquake hazard in the South Island. Brendon Bradley has been using 3D computer modelling to predict what a major earthquake on the alpine fault could feel like. The shaking in Christchurch, as some below have identified, will be slow and rolly, you will not reach the intensity that the greendale sequence did and definitely not Feb 22 levels. It has ruptured four times in the last 900 years, resulting in earthquakes of around magnitude 8, and is now considered highly probable to go again in the next 50 years. It forms a transform boundary between the Pacific Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault, known as a right-lateral strike-slip fault, that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's South Island. The Alpine Fault is a geological fault, specifically a right-lateral strike-slip fault, that runs almost the entire length of New Zealand’s South Island. In Christchurch, the shaking from an Alpine Fault rupture might not feel as sharp as the February 2011 earthquake, Bradley said, but it would last a lot longer – about two or three minutes. The Alpine Fault ruptures—on average—every 330 years with a magnitude 8 earthquake. Alpine Fault Project Releases Video Series to Mark Major Milestone. At 3 AM on May 29, 2013, the South Island’s technological uncon­scious roars […] The last time it did this was in 1717, when it produced about 8m of horizontal movement. 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