Devastating Earthquake in Christchurch

The School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences' geophysicists are dismayed at the devastating magnitude 6.3 earthquake of 22 February 2011 in Christchurch.; Aftershock activity occurring since the magnitude 7.1 earthquake on 4 September 2010 had been decreasing in recent weeks, and a network of portable; seismometers deployed by Victoria University of Wellington and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin was removed in January.

Seismologists consider the magnitude 6.3 earthquake to be a late, large aftershock of the 4 September earthquake. As it was shallower and closer to Christchurch city (10 km vs. 40 km), it caused larger ground motions and more damage in the city centre than the larger September earthquake.  The magnitude 6.3 earthquake will continue to trigger aftershocks in coming days, some of which will likely exceed magnitude 5.

Continuing seismicity is being monitored by the GeoNet group at GNS Science, and their website can be found here: