Within the last 7 years, the Canterbury and Marlborough regions of New Zealand’s South Island have been significantly impacted by a series of damaging earthquakes. Following a period of relative quiet, the increased rate of seismic activity has created a groundswell in knowledge and corresponding techniques to better understand and mitigate these impacts on civil engineering projects.
With such large and damaging forces at play, engineers have had to rethink their approach to urban and infrastructure development. Lower frequency, but significantly more damaging higher consequence events, have led to increases in the understanding of risk and resilience based design philosophies.
The Port Hills of Christchurch were significantly affected by coseismic landsliding (boulder roll, cliff collapse and mass movement) following the 2011 magnitude 6.3 earthquake, primarily impacting residential areas. During the 2016 Kaikoura magnitude 7.8 earthquake, transportation ‘Life Line’ corridors have been the most significantly impacted by coseismic landsliding. For the former scenario, risk-based decisions were utilised in the engineering response, whilst for the latter, engineering in resilience becoming a greater part of the thinking.
This presentation, whilst primarily focused upon geological effects and natural hazards (such as liquefaction and coseismic landsliding), will also cover the wider implications of living and developing in actively seismic countries such as New Zealand, which is currently well deserving of its nickname as ‘The Shaky Isles’.
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