Seismologist warns of megathrust earthquake threat for New ZealandSubmitted by Bob-45 on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 22:42
Patrick O' Sullivan
4th Feb 2013 10:54 AM
Less than 100km off the coast of Hawke's Bay is a deep-water trench that could be the site of a potential megathrust earthquake.
Less than 100km off the coast of Hawke's Bay is a deep-water trench that could be the site of a potential megathrust earthquake similar to the 2011 Japan earthquake, says seismologist Kevin Furlong.
Despite the Hikurangi Trench's potential, he said very little was known about the underwater valley, where the Pacific plate was dragged underneath the Australian plate.
Professor Furlong, of Pennsylvania State University, said the worst-case scenario for the East Coast was not yet known.
"Many, if not most, scientists working on these megathrust earthquake plate boundaries would argue that, although it is very, very unlikely, until we can demonstrate otherwise we should expect that major segments of these boundaries could rupture simultaneously.