Geotechnical reconnaissance of the 2010 Darfield (New Zealand) earthquake
On 4 September 2010, a magnitude Mw 7.1 earthquake struck the Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand. The epicentre of the earthquake was located in the Darfield area about 40 km west of the city of Christchurch. Extensive damage occurred to unreinforced masonry buildings throughout the region during the mainshock and subsequent large aftershocks. Particularly extensive damage was inflicted to lifelines and residential houses due to widespread liquefaction and lateral spreading in areas close to major streams, rivers and wetlands throughout Christchurch and Kaiapoi. Despite the severe damage to infrastructure and residential houses, fortunately, no deaths occurred and only two injuries were reported in this earthquake. From an engineering viewpoint, one may argue that the most significant aspects of the 2010 Darfield Earthquake were geotechnical in nature, with liquefaction and lateral spreading being the principal culprits for the inflicted damage. Following the earthquake, a geotechnical reconnaissance was conducted over a period of six days (10–15 September 2010) by a team of geotechnical/earthquake engineers and geologists from New Zealand and USA (GEER team: Geo-engineering Extreme Event Reconnaissance). JGS (Japanese Geotechnical Society) members from Japan also participated in the reconnaissance team from 13 to 15 September 2010. The NZ, GEER and JGS members worked as one team and shared resources, information and logistics in order to conduct thorough and most efficient reconnaissance covering a large area over a very limited time period. This report summarises the key evidence and findings from the reconnaissance.
SubjectsField of Research::04 - Earth Sciences::0404 - Geophysics::040407 - Seismology and Seismic Exploration
- Engineering: Reports