An earthquake of Mw 6.1–6.31 (Beavan et al. 2011, page 789 of this issue) that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on 22 February (21 February, UTC) produced recorded ground motion acceleration over 2 g. The event caused widespread damage with dense recordings of non-linear site behavior. Globally, dense near-field recordings of shallow intraplate earthquakes are rare. It is possible that extreme ground motions are common with this type of earthquake and that their rarity is merely a function of inadequate seismic sampling in the near field of such low-probability, high-potency events. To better define the nature of these...

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