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Science. 2017 Apr 14;356(6334). pii: eaam7194. doi: 10.1126/science.aam7194. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Complex multifault rupture during the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake, New Zealand.

Author information

1
GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. i.hamling@gns.cri.nz.
2
GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
3
Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET), School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.
4
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA.
5
University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, Austin, TX 78758, USA.
6
School of Surveying, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
7
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), Wellington, New Zealand.
8
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand.
9
School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.
10
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
11
School of Environment, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
12
Geology Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

On 14 November 2016, northeastern South Island of New Zealand was struck by a major moment magnitude (Mw) 7.8 earthquake. Field observations, in conjunction with interferometric synthetic aperture radar, Global Positioning System, and seismology data, reveal this to be one of the most complex earthquakes ever recorded. The rupture propagated northward for more than 170 kilometers along both mapped and unmapped faults before continuing offshore at the island's northeastern extent. Geodetic and field observations reveal surface ruptures along at least 12 major faults, including possible slip along the southern Hikurangi subduction interface; extensive uplift along much of the coastline; and widespread anelastic deformation, including the ~8-meter uplift of a fault-bounded block. This complex earthquake defies many conventional assumptions about the degree to which earthquake ruptures are controlled by fault segmentation and should motivate reevaluation of these issues in seismic hazard models.

PMID:
28336563
DOI:
10.1126/science.aam7194
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