An evaluation of the late Quaternary displacements and seismic hazard associated with the Hope and Kakapo faults, Amuri district, North Canterbury (1989)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Geology
AuthorsCowan, H. A.show all
The Amuri Earthquake of September 1, 1888 (magnitude M = 6.5 to 6.8) occurred on the Hope River Segment of the Hope Fault west of Hanmer Plains. The earthquake was felt strongly in North Canterbury and North Westland and caused considerable property damage and landsliding in the Lower Hope Valley. However, damage reports and the spatial distribution of felt intensities emphasize extreme variations in seismic effects over short distances, probably due to topographic focusing and local ground conditions. Significant variations in lateral fault displacement occurred at secondary fault segment boundaries (side-steps and bends in the fault trace) during the 1888 earthquake. This historical spatial variation in lateral slip is matched by the Late Quaternary geomorphic distribution of slip on the Hope River Segment of the Hope Fault. Trenching studies at two sites on the Hope Fault have also identified evidence for five pre-historic earthquakes of similar magnitude to the 1888 earthquake and an average recurrence interval of 134 ± 27 years between events. Magnitude estimates for the 1888 earthquake are combined with a. strong ground motion attenuation expression to provide an estimate of potential ground accelerations in Amuri District during-future earthquakes on the Hope River Segment of the Hope Fault. The predicted acceleration response on bedrock sites within 20 km of the epicentral region is between 0.23 g and 0.34 g. The close match between the historic, inferred pre-historic and geomorphic distribution of lateral slip indicates that secondary fault segmentation exerts a strong structural control on rupture propagation and the expression of fault displacement at the surface. In basement rocks at depth the spatial variations in slip are inferred to be distributed within zones of pervasive cataclastic shear, on either side of the fault segment boundaries. The large variations in surface displacement across fault segment boundaries means that one must know the geometry of the fault in order to evaluate slip-rates calculated from individual locations. The average Late Quaternary slip-rate on the Hope Fault at Glynn Wye Station is between 15.5 mm/yr and 18.25 mm/yr and the rate on the subsidiary Kakapo Fault is between 5.0 mm/yr and 7.5 mm/yr. These rates have been determined from sites which are relatively free of structural complication.