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. Recent research (published … In March 2009, more than 60 of the world's best quake scientists were in Franz Josef to plan the fault-drilling project. Earthquake activity and the broad rise or fall of an area may, however, indicate their presence. This causes seismic waves to travel fastest parallel to these features, a phenomenon known as anisotropy. The Pacific Plate and Indo-Australian Plate boundary forms the Macquarie Fault Zone in the Puysegur Trench off the southwestern corner of the South Island and comes onshore as the Alpine Fault just north of Milford Sound. Stark geomorphological contrasts developed across the faults, reflecting differential glacial exploitation of the pre-glacial drainage pattern. >.< The Pacific Plate is upthrust on the left, with the Australian Plate on the right of the scarp. Introduction: Although the Alpine Fault has the potential to cause catastrophic damage on the West Coast, and elsewhere in the South Island, should there be major movement along all or part of its length, there has been no such movement in historical times. ", The Alpine Fault started as part of the break-up of the supercontinent Gondwana, with New Zealand starting to drift away from Antarctica about 80 million years ago.simo. It may be quiet but it's not uneventful. The PSZ has accommodated most of the Alpine Fault’s strike-slip movement in the past, and will do so again in the future. The fault runs hundreds of kilometres up the spine of the South Island, from Fiordland along the western edge of the Southern Alps. 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. You only need to look at the slips on the range front around Whataroa and Harihari from storms earlier this year to get a sense of what an Alpine Fault quake will do to unstable slopes and rivers, he says. Our scientific understanding concerning the next large earthquake on the Alpine Fault, New Zealand. Franz Josef residents living with the fault now have a greater appreciation of what is in store than they did only 10 years ago, thanks to the efforts of scientists and civil defence workers, and some incredible, high-profile, big science in the form of the Deep Fault Drilling Project at Gaunt Creek about 20km away. Mar ch 201 1. The Fault Core surrounds the PSZ with up to 30 metres of mixed gouge and the green clay-rich mash geologists call ultra-cataclasite. His advantage was that coming from the UK he wasn't wedded to a particular way of thinking about it. An hour and a half later, the meeting winds up. It occurred in an area that already has relatively high seismicity, and there have been other quakes with similar magnitudes in this general area in the recent past. But how close it really is to the end of its seismic cycle is still as unknown as it was when all this research began several decades ago. "You spend a lot of time checking. The Alpine Fault ruptures in a massive earthquake every 300 years, on average, and the last big one was in 1717. GNS Science principal scientist Dr Kelvin Berryman doubts last Sunday's quake was on the Alpine Fault and says there are several small faults just west of it. Presentation given in Christchurch in March 2015. Approximate rupture dates are 1717AD, 1620 AD, 1450 AD, and 1100 AD. READ MORE: * Alpine Fault spreads across South Island, researchers say * When, not if: Alpine fault could cause 8 metres of movement * Scientists digging into new part of South Island's Alpine Fault. 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