The Mw7.8 2016 Kaikōura earthquake
Surface fault rupture and seismic hazard context
We provide a summary of the surface fault ruptures produced by the Mw7.8 14 November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, including examples of damage to engineered structures, transportation networks and farming infrastructure produced by direct fault surface rupture displacement. We also provide an overview of the earthquake in the context of the earthquake source model and estimated ground motions from the current (2010) version of the National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) for New Zealand. A total of 21 faults ruptured along a c.180 km long zone during the earthquake, including some that were unknown prior to the event. The 2010 version of the NSHM had considered multi-fault ruptures in the Kaikōura area, but not to the degree observed in the earthquake. The number of faults involved a combination of known and unknown faults, a mix of complete and partial ruptures of the known faults, and the non-involvement of a major fault within the rupture zone (i.e. the Hope Fault) makes this rupture an unusually complex event by world standards. However, the strong ground motions of the earthquake are consistent with the high hazard of the Kaikōura area shown in maps produced from the NSHM.
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