Kaikoura Earthquake Caused ‘Largest and Most Widespread Episode of Slow Slip’ Seen in NZ

The 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake (marked by a red star) triggered a slow slip event (marked by red area) on New Zealand’s North Island. The slow slip spanned an area comparable to the state of New Jersey. Both events occurred along a subduction zone, an area where a tectonic plate dives or “subducts” beneath an adjacent tectonic plate. This type of fault is responsible for causing some of the world’s most powerful earthquakes. Jackson School of Geosciences.

A slow slip event is a similar to an earthquake, but instead of taking seconds it takes weeks and months.

In a GeoNet blogpost, GNS Science explained their research, with Dr Laura Wallace saying slow slip events caused by the Kaikoura earthquake was “probably the clearest example worldwide of long distance, large-scale slow slip triggering”.

“The magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake was one of the most complex earthquakes ever recorded with modern instruments,” they wrote.

TVNZ, Sept. 13, 2017

Radio New Zealand, Sept. 12, 2017


Featuring: Laura Wallace, research scientist, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences