Finding higher ground in New Zealand - photos

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

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On Monday morning a severe earthquake struck the northeast coast of New Zealand's South Island. The quake measured 7.8 and was centred near Kaikoura, a dairy town on the northeast coast. Though the quake was felt right around New Zealand much of the damage happened close to Kaikoura.

When they felt the quake Kaikoura residents near sea level sought higher ground, yet the coast they returned to had significantly changed.

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Landslide near Kaikoura (NZ Civil Defence)

The day after the quake both New Zealand's Civil Defence and Tonkin + Taylor, an environment and engineering company, flew over the damaged region and uploaded their photos to social media. "Aerial photographs show the seabed uplift north of Kaikoura – estimated to be between 2–2.5 metres," Tonkin + Taylor wrote in one of its tweets.

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(Tonkin + Taylor)

The purple tinged areas off the coast mark the uplifted reef. The purple colour is karengo seaweed which normally grows below the low tide line but is now on newly exposed rock platforms.

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(Tonkin + Taylor)

The vertical lift is similar to damage caused by recent quakes in northern Indonesia where reefs have been lifted out of the surf zone. Surf breaks have been both ruined, such as Asu, and improved, such as Nias, following those earthquakes. One commenter to Tonkin + Taylor's Twitter account said: "Absolutely mind blowing. I’m thinking there may be some new surf spots up the coast and hopefully none destroyed."

It will be a while before the landlsides are cleared so no-one knows what the outcome will be.

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(Lou Gorden-Green)

Dr Joshu Mountjoy, a marine geologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), told Fairfax newspapers the seabed lift was a first for modern New Zealand scientists. "I've never seen it before during an earthquake and it's the first time we've seen something like this."

Dr Mountjoy said. "Some faults go side-to-side while others move vertically, like in this case, where the fault has pushed the land up into the air."

screen_shot_2016-11-17_at_9.47.27_am.png
(NZ Civil Defence)

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Note driveway for how far the land moved (Radio New Zealand)

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Landslide near Kaikoura (NZ Civil Defence)

Comments

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 at 11:04am

It's amazing to see photographic evidence of just how powerful a quake can be. Here in my area there are hundreds of examples big and small on how the landscape has altered as the result of a big quake. I actually enjoy pointing different areas out when people come to visit. Puts a new perspective on just how powerful mother nature is.

bwillis's picture
bwillis's picture
bwillis Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 at 11:49am

There are some epic photos going around showing abalone and crayfish stranded above the water line now they have been displaced out of the ocean. I wonder what this will mean for Mangamaunu and the other breaks there.

Koura's picture
Koura's picture
Koura Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 at 2:54pm

Richter scale? lol.

Surfsnb's picture
Surfsnb's picture
Surfsnb Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 at 4:22pm

I love that part of NZ, visited the area several times, last time about year ago.(thought I might retire there)
I think some points and reefs will be stuffed after this, 2-2.5 m is a big movement in coastal sea floor, but it could create some new spots.
There is a big seal colony in one of the landslide spots, I hope they swam out before it clean them up. I hope the NZ gov. helps the lovely people of Kaikoura and surrounds, they always had the best fish and chips in the world.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 at 4:46pm

7.8 is damn powerful. those pics are stunning -- that drive way movement! all the best to our NZ brothers and sisters (and the seals).

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 at 7:01pm

Spent 10 days in the area 2 years back, bloody nice and that road and rail very scenic. Love NZ, the people and the south island especially, its out of control for all things outdoors, I could live there easy. Hope the bloke selling fresh cooked crays from a van along that road is doing ok. Wonder what happened, if anything, to the whales off Kaikoura, more specifically wonder whether their sonar / learned knowledge picked up the quake and the likelihood of a tsunami. Kaikoura has a large seal colony.

Coastal's picture
Coastal's picture
Coastal Friday, 18 Nov 2016 at 8:12am

Huge numbers of paua (abalone) in the fourth photo. Hopefully someone took them back to the sea. Presumably the "line" across the rocks/road/farmland in the 2nd and 3rd photos is a faultline?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 18 Nov 2016 at 9:00am

I think so, Coastal. Here's an enlarged version of the third shot showing the line crossing the rock shelf, beach, road, and then, amazingly, under a house.

screen_shot_2016-11-18_at_8.57.42_am.png

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Friday, 18 Nov 2016 at 3:31pm

Stu this stuff is incredible. The fault line you have identified above is so evident in shot 2 showing it running from ocean to land and it aligns perfectly with the projected base line of the hill/ridge.
The aqua water trapped like a pool clearly defines the uplift. I find a 2.5 m uplift hard to even comprehend. Imagine the forces that are involved and who knows what the dramatic changes will have on the ecology and ocean dynamics around there.
Would be very interesting to get some local surfers and ocean people who live there to share their observations both short and long term.

poo-man's picture
poo-man's picture
poo-man Friday, 18 Nov 2016 at 8:47pm

Just saw the article on NZ herald website talking about some new surf breaks appearing in the midst of the crew shifting all the paua (abalone) to safety

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11751006

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Saturday, 19 Nov 2016 at 11:07am

thanks the poo, great article and so good to see the huge effort being put in, hope many are surfers and doing their bit to help, the waves can wait, the ecology can not.
Travelled that stretch before and sorry can not be there to help.

poo-man's picture
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poo-man Tuesday, 22 Nov 2016 at 5:48am

Looks like a bunch of new possibilties opening up at Kaikoura

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11751785

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 22 Nov 2016 at 6:38am

Yeah! Have just embeded. Good to see something positive.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 24 Nov 2016 at 8:16am

Another amazing video showing how much the surface has changed/moved.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 4:00am

Tsunami Alert for New Zealand.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/tsunami-warning-after-major-earthqu...

NZ Tsunami Gauge Network seems to be registering 2m+ Waves over 2 minutes.
Gonna have to leave the wave train of thought to the Boss...he's the expert!

tbb's job is to just jot down the notes...surely 'can't stuff that up!
(North > South Wave Size ) ^1m - /\ 2m - /( 3.617m (max from trough to peak)
https://twitter.com/ai6yrham/status/1367485624450617344/photo/1
^/\ Charleston /\--^-/\ /\ Raoul Island /\-)\ East Cape )\ /(-/\ Castlepoint /\--^ Christchurch ^-
https://www.geonet.org.nz/tsunami

swellnet after hours crew salute all NZ wave measure boffins...
Fantastic Job guys...#tsunami site is collecting super wave data....Top effort.
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tsunami&src=hashtag_click
Crew will love combing thru this lot...

swellnet crew & Oz send best wishes across the ditch to Cuz.
Hope all is well...past our bed time...signing off!
Oops! tbb almost forgot...bragging rights....
Q: Just how Big was the 2021 NZ wave ?
A: 12ft Tsunami.
That's way too big for the swellnet crew...outta here!

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 8:00am

The first one which was much closer than the other two woke me up. It went for about a minute or so. I'm roughly 700km away so that gives an idea of how powerful it was. The third one (if my knowledge of how the Richter scale works is correct) was something like 30 times stronger than the first. Didn't feel that one as it was much further away. That's the one they're worried about RE a tsunami, hence the evacuations in Northern NZ.
I would say that if you're in SE QLD or Northern NSW you probably should keep an eye on the news. There's a chance something could be heading your way.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 8:11am

Wow, a minute, intense.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 8:15am

Looks like the Australian DART buoy between New Caledonia and PNG (yellow triangle closest to New Cal) has just picked up some small movement..
https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart.shtml

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:21am

Edit.
Epicentre 174km NE of Gisborne and 7.2 on the Richter.
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us7000dffl/executive

But there was another later and larger quake of 8.1 near Kermadec Islands, possibly this was the tsunami origin?
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us7000dflf/executive

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 10:53am

2nd & 3rd Craig's Wow!
Tsunami Warning Motherlode...our NZ crew are gonna need Big Guns & tuff basherz.
Huey is winding up the Tasman Bomber...you're on Craig!

Thanx for the Warning guys...again, Hang in There...we got yer backwash.
Could be the day tbb returns to the Ocean...Mega miracle Tsunami elixir.

Tsunami Warning is Current for Oz Territories & Big Wave Bommies
Subscribe to [f] for nearest End of The World Tsunami Cliff Hang or Surfjustsurf.
http://www.bom.gov.au/tsunami/

PS: Huey did warn our Cuz to stop sledgin' our cry babies...Pay back...Big Time!

TOTD ~~#~~~~/\~~~~/(`~~~~/(C~~~~/(C`...[ kiwis ) WTF # ( Oz Locals ]~( decide ]~~

synchrodogcal's picture
synchrodogcal's picture
synchrodogcal Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:00am
Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:14am

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:33am
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:48am

Low level Tsunami footage coming in...+ Hawaii Tsunami Warnings
WSL Ladybird Wavepool Vid looks like a laugh but may yet prove a good measure.
Compare to a larger Municipal Pool +Dams for on land wave / volume readings.
In other words to measure above ground shake reaction & Wave time comparison.
Camera would have a time stamp...a live Wave Cam recording for onshore forecast.
Even better as you can measure elevation + volume / forces as to other water bodies.
Vid does show how an Offshore event can fire up remote onshore elevated waves.
https://www.9news.com.au/world/new-zealand-earthquake-tsunami-warning-po...

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/incredible-wave-surge-rolls-into-east-coas...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9327211/New-Zealand-North-Islan...

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/live-auckland-included-in-ts...

NZ siren! Radio /Warning / Bro! Could do with a fish! Grouse real Vid Bro great share!
https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/move-immediately-tsunami-fea...

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 12:46pm

Interesting pick up there VJ. Never seen that before. Having to type this on my phone as the Ipad has gone the fritz. Seems to be constantly reloading whatever pages I throw in, across 2 different browsers. Possibly unrelated, and perhaps Google is playing funny buggers with us.

Mobile phone working though.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 12:46pm

Any readings of tidal difference for east Coast Oz?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 2:56pm

Tweed River jetty picked it up. Looks like there were localised effects of around 10-15cm.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 4:27pm

Sydney Harbour picked up ~25-30cm residuals, though most days this week have been 10-15cm positive anyway (suggesting the effects of the tsunami were ~15cm or so).

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 5:08pm

Those are great charts Ben. Fortunately there was no damage or injuries to speak of from the Tsunami. I imagine if you'd been swimming at the beach when it hit you may have been in a bit of strife.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 7:19am

,

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 7:22am

Looks like the earthquake pushed Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne a hundred kays to the west.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 1:58pm

That would be quite a bonus in regards to crowds at the beach. The Westies have another hour or so of driving to do now aye. Yet another thing you guys can thank NZ for. That and Sir Joh.

poo-man's picture
poo-man's picture
poo-man Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 7:25am

That was a really strong one ay Spud? It woke me up too and felt like it went for a minute and a half. I remember that Japan one a few years ago and some mates were surfing Coromandel and they'd left their gear on the beach way above the High tide mark and when they came in their gear was all wet. They didn't actual know that a small tsunami had gone under them. The same afternoon in raglan up the harbour and the tide was rushing out then it suddenly stopped for 3 minutes then resumed again. Was really freaky to see that

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 1:54pm

I've slept through some reasonably big ones over the years, but this one certainly woke me up. Not as big as the Kaikoura one though. That nearly threw me off the bed.
I was working up above Lyall Bay the next morning and the water was going in and out of the bay roughly every fifteen minutes for a couple of hours. I guess it was a change in water level of about 30cm or so on the biggest one. That was eight hours after the quake.