Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

The character of accelerations in the Mw 6.2 Christchurch earthquake

Bill Fry, R. Benites and A. Kaiser
The character of accelerations in the Mw 6.2 Christchurch earthquake
Seismological Research Letters (November 2011) 82 (6): 846-852


The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have produced some of the strongest ground motions ever measured in New Zealand. Many of the highest acceleration recordings arose from seismic stations within the city of Christchurch (population nearly equal 377,000). A dense array of strong-motion seismometers was in place prior to the mainshock of 4 September 2010. Subsequent to the mainshock, numerous rapid response accelerometers were installed in the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula, and in the city itself. Many of the strongest aftershocks were recorded by this dense amalgamation of permanent and temporary arrays and provide a detailed record of variable ground motion throughout the region during the aftershock sequence. The most extreme ground motions were recorded during the Mw 6.2 earthquake of 22 February 2011 that struck a few kilometers to the south of Christchurch, generating severe damage throughout the city. In fact, damage to the built environment and ground liquefaction was much more widespread in the February event than in the September Mw 7.1 mainshock. This event is one of the best-recorded shallow thrust earthquakes in the near field. Recorded peak ground acceleration (PGA) in February exceeded 2 g near the epicenter and was greater than 0.6 g over much of the central and eastern suburbs. At these near-source stations, vertical accelerations were generally markedly higher than horizontal accelerations.

ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 82
Serial Issue: 6
Title: The character of accelerations in the Mw 6.2 Christchurch earthquake
Affiliation: GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Pages: 846-852
Published: 20111112
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
References: 20
Accession Number: 2012-014176
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, geol. sketch map
S43°32'60" - S43°32'60", E172°40'00" - E172°40'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201208
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal