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Good uptake for Christchurch quake recording project - 15/09/2010

Scientists have been overwhelmed with Christchurch people volunteering to host miniature earthquake recorders in their homes to record aftershocks.

A positive response from volunteer home-owners has resulted in nearly all of the 200 instruments being deployed in the city and outlying areas.

The instruments will remain with their hosts for about six weeks recording valuable information about the levels of ground-shaking across the region.

Called Quake-Catchers, the instruments have been installed in homes as far west as Kirwee and Coalgate, as far south as Taitapu, at Woodend and Rangiora in the north, and at Diamond Harbour on Banks Peninsula.

About the size of a golf ball, the instruments record aftershock ground motions in three dimensions and send the information via the internet to a data collection centre.

The project is a collaboration between GNS Science and Stanford University in the United States, with support from Victoria University of Wellington.

Project Coordinator, Hannah Brackley of GNS Science, said the response from Canterbury home owners had been amazing and had helped to ensure that a large amount of valuable data would be collected during the next few weeks.

"We are grateful to all the homeowners who offered to host an instrument to help with this project. The goodwill from homeowners has been humbling, especially as many are still coping with property damage and major disruption caused by the earthquake," Dr Brackley said.

Data collected by the instruments would help to improve the understanding of how different soil types respond to earthquake shaking and how this has impacted the houses in Christchurch.

Dr Brackley said the data collected would be of international significance and had the potential to be applied to all New Zealand towns and cities to help mitigate the impacts of earthquakes.

Map of eqsensor locations

Map of eqsensor locations