What caused the 2010 Canterbury earthquake?

In September 2010, Christchurch was shaken by the magnitude 7.1 Darfield earthquake, caused by movement along faults west of the city on the Canterbury Plains. The fault plane extends a few kilometres offshore, but not much fault movement occurred beneath the ocean.

How long did the Canterbury earthquake last?

approximately 10 seconds
While the initial quake only lasted for approximately 10 seconds, the damage was severe because of the location and shallowness of the earthquake’s focus in relation to Christchurch as well as previous quake damage…

Where did the Canterbury earthquakes occur?

Christchurch earthquakes of 2010–11, also called Canterbury earthquakes, series of tremors that occurred within and near the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Canterbury Plains region from early September 2010 to late December 2011.

What causes the ground to shake so strongly in an earthquake?

Earthquakes are usually caused when underground rock suddenly breaks and there is rapid motion along a fault. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake. The earthquake is over when the fault stops moving. Seismic waves are generated throughout the earthquake.

How many earthquakes does NZ have a year?

Every year GNS Science locates over 15,000 earthquakes in New Zealand. About 100 – 150 of these quakes are large enough to be felt, – the others we only know about because they are recorded by seismographs.

Where was the fault line in the Canterbury earthquake?

Back in September I posted a series of images that I took of the of the surface fault rupture for the 4th September 2010 Mw = 7.1 Canterbury earthquake in New Zealand. Included was this one, taken of a railway line that crossed the fault rupture at the eastern end of the fault near to Rolleston:

When did the earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand happen?

At 4:35 am on 4 September 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale shook Christchurch west, in the Canterbury region causing damage to houses and property. Around six months later, at 12:51 pm on 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit south-east of Christchurch.

What was the temperature of the Canterbury Railway?

The track is welded rail and usually clipped in at a neutral temperature of say 60 deg F. As you can see to the portion of track either side of the disturbance the tie ends are fully bedded in the ballast. When the rail temperatures are above the neutral the rail expands.

Where did the fault rupture in New Zealand?

Included was this one, taken of a railway line that crossed the fault rupture at the eastern end of the fault near to Rolleston: Thanks to Malcolm Teasdale of Kiwirail for sending these two images of the state of the track at this site immediately after the earthquake (posted with permission): The second image is particularly interesting.