Suggested extensions of the New Zealand strong motion accelerograph network

  • J. B. Berrill University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


The principal aim of the present network of strong motion accelerographs is to record the response of structures to earthquakes, and instruments are concentrated in the larger cities where modern, tall buildings are found. However, the behaviour of structures during earthquakes is now comparatively well understood. At the present time, estimating design ground motions is the weakest part in the process of designing structures to resist earthquakes. There is a strong need for more recordings of ground shaking, particularly
sets of several accelerograms from single earthquakes. It is not certain that the present accelerograph network would capture any significant record of strong motion during a major earthquake in New Zealand; and the chance of a set of three or more strong accelerograms being recorded is quite small. It is recommended that 25 additional instruments be installed promptly, to fill the main gaps in the present network, and to extend the capacity of the existing local network in the Wellington area.


Hefford, R. T., Randall, P. M., Skinner, R. I., Beck, J. L. and Tyler, R. G., "The New Zealand Strong Motion Earthquake Recorder Network", Bull. N.Z. Nat. Soc. for Earthq. Eng., 12, 3, 1979.

Lensen, G. L., "Late Quaternery Tectonic Map of New Zealand, 1:2000,000", N.Z. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Series, Map 12, 1977.

Smith, W. D., "A Computer File of New Zealand Earthquakes", Bull. N.Z. Nat. Soc. Earthq. Eng., 9, 2, 1976, 136-137.

Walcott, R. I., "Present Tectonics and Late Cenozoic Evolution of New Zealand" , Late Cenozoic Evolution of New Zealand" , Geophys. J. R. Astr. Soc, 52, 1978, 137-164.

How to Cite
Berrill, J. B. (1979). Suggested extensions of the New Zealand strong motion accelerograph network. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 12(3), 264-268.

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