A reconnaissance natural hazard assessment of Lakes Lyndon, Coleridge and Tekapo
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The Canterbury Region is susceptible to a variety of natural hazards, including earthquakes, landslides and climate hazards. Increasing population and tourism within the region is driving development pressures and as more and more development occurs, the risk from natural hazards increases. In order to avoid development occurring in unacceptably vulnerable locations, natural hazard assessments are required. This study is a reconnaissance natural hazard assessment of Lakes Lyndon, Coleridge and Tekapo.
There is restricted potential for development at Lake Lyndon, because the land surrounding the lake is owned by the Crown and has a number of development restrictions. However, there is the potential for conservation or recreation-linked development to occur. There is more potential for development at Lake Coleridge. Most of the land surrounding the lake is privately owned and has less development restrictions. The majority of land surrounding Lake Tekapo is divided into Crown-owned pastoral leases, which are protected from development, such as subdivision. However, there are substantial areas around the lake, which are privately owned and, therefore, have potential for development.
Earthquake, landslide and climate hazards are the main natural hazards threatening Lakes Lyndon, Coleridge and Tekapo. The lakes are situated in a zone of active earth deformation in which large and relatively frequent earthquakes are produced. A large number of active faults lie within 15 km of each lake, which are capable of producing M7 or larger earthquakes. Ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides, tsunami and seiches are among the consequences of earthquakes, all of which have the potential to cause severe damage to lives, lifelines and infrastructure. Landslides are also common in the landscape surrounding the lakes. The majority of slopes surrounding the lakes are at significant risk from earthquake-induced failure under moderate to strong earthquake shaking. This level of shaking is expected to occur in any 50 year period around Lakes Lyndon and Coleridge, and in any 150 year period around Lake Tekapo. Injuries, fatalities and property damage can occur directly from landslide impact or from indirect effects such as flooding from landslide-generated tsunami or from landslide dam outbreaks. Lakes Lyndon, Coleridge and Tekapo are also susceptible to climate hazards, such as high winds, drought, heavy snowfall and heavy rainfall, which can lead to landslides and flooding. Future climate change due to global warming is most likely going to affect patterns of frequency and magnitudes of extreme weather events, leading to an increase in climate hazards.
Before development is permitted around the lakes, it is essential that each of these hazards is considered so that unacceptably vulnerable areas can be avoided.