A summary of strong ground motions observed in the Canterbury earthquake sequence
This paper provides a summary of the ground motions observed in the recent Canterbury, New Zealand earthquake sequence. The sequence occurred in a region of relatively moderate seismicity, 130km to the east of the Alpine Fault, the major plate-boundary in the region. From an engineering perspective, the sequence has been primarily comprised of the initial 04/09/2010 Darfield earthquake (Mw7.1) followed by the 22/02/2011 Christchurch earthquake (Mw6.3), and two aftershocks on 13/06/ 2011 (Mw5.3 and 6.0, respectively). The dense spacing of strong motions in the region, and their close proximity to the respective causative faults, has resulted in strong ground motions far exceeding the previous catalogue of strong motion observed in New Zealand. The observed ground motions have exhibited clear evidence of: (i) near-source directivity; (ii) sedimentary basin focusing, amplification and basin effect refraction; (iii) non-linear site response; (iv) cyclic mobility postliquefaction; and (v) extreme vertical ground motions exceeding 2g, among others.