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How often do earthquakes occur along the fault?

north island fault lines

North Island fault lines

The last time the Wellington Fault ruptured through the Wellington region, causing a major earthquake, was around 300 - 500 years ago. Geoscientists estimate the Wellington Fault will cause a major earthquake every 500-1000 years. However other faults around the Wellington region are also active and capable of generating major earthquakes, for example the Ohariu Fault, and the Wairarapa Fault which last ruptured in 1855 causing a great earthquake that severely affected Wellington. The frequency of large earthquakes affecting the Wellington Region is therefore much higher, with an average return time of about 150 years for a very strong or extreme ground shaking quake.

How do we know which fault is most likely to rupture next in Wellington?