Saturday, November 19, 2016
New Zealand quake: The geological impact of a 'complex' tremor
The powerful earthquakes which hit New Zealand were some of the most complex ever recorded, say scientists.
Earthquakes are caused by a sudden slip on a fault, the fractures in Earth's crust. There are three types of faults: strike-slip, normal and reverse faults. These faults indicate different movements of rocks.
Tonkin and Taylor, an engineering firm surveying the damage, said a section of the seabed along a 110km stretch of coast north of Kaikoura was lifted by between 2-2.5m. Prof Nicol said this was likely due to "reverse faulting".
The seabed rise stranded huge amounts of marine life, including crayfish and paua - an edible sea snail harvested for its meat and shells. Experts say it could take years for the wildlife to recover, a serious concern for the fishing industry.