Patterns of Crustal Deformation Resulting from the 2010 Earthquake Sequence in Christchurch, New Zealand
Thesis DisciplineEngineering Geology
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMasters of Science
The Mw 7.1 Darfield earthquake generated a ~30 km long surface rupture on the Greendale Fault and significant surface deformation related to related blind faults on a previously unrecognized fault system beneath the Canterbury Plains. This earthquake provided the opportunity for research into the patterns and mechanisms of co-seismic and post-seismic crustal deformation. In this thesis I use multiple across-fault EDM surveys, logic trees, surface investigations and deformation feature mapping, seismic reflection surveying, and survey mark (cadastral) re-occupation using GPS to quantify surface displacements at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. My field mapping investigations identified shaking and crustal displacement-induced surface deformation features south and southwest of Christchurch and in the vicinity of the projected surface traces of the Hororata Blind and Charing Cross Faults. The data are consistent with the high peak ground accelerations and broad surface warping due to underlying reverse faulting on the Hororata Blind Fault and Charing Cross Fault. I measured varying amounts of post-seismic displacement at four of five locations that crossed the Greendale Fault. None of the data showed evidence for localized dextral creep on the Greendale Fault surface trace, consistent with other studies showing only minimal regional post-seismic deformation. Instead, the post-seismic deformation field suggests an apparent westward translation of northern parts of the across-fault surveys relative to the southern parts of the surveys that I attribute to post-mainshock creep on blind thrusts and/or other unidentified structures. The seismic surveys identified a deformation zone in the gravels that we attribute to the Hororata Blind Fault but the Charing Cross fault was not able to be identified on the survey. Cadastral re-surveys indicate a deformation field consistent with previously published geodetic data. We use this deformation with regional strain rates to estimate earthquake recurrence intervals of ~7000 to > 14,000 yrs on the Hororata Blind and Charing Cross Faults.