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Earthquake rupture modelling and ground motion simulation

Our research focuses on advancing knowledge on the physics and mechanics of large earthquakes and physics-based ground-motion simulation methods. We proactively interact with earthquake engineers, geodesists, tsunami modellers, geologists and other seismologists focusing on improved understanding of NZ’s crustal structure and geology. The New Zealand GeoNet network allows us to examine and validate ground motions at all scales for a wide range of recent earthquakes.

Figure 3: Simulations of ground motions and tsunami wave propagation resulting from the 2016 M7.8 Kaikōura (NZ) earthquake (Kaneko et al., 2017)

Simulations of ground motions and tsunami wave propagation resulting from the 2016 M7.8 Kaikōura (NZ) earthquake (Kaneko et al., 2017)

Examples of our work include:


Related publications

  • Goto, H.; Kaneko, Y.; Young, J.; Avery, H.; Damiano, L. 2019 Extreme accelerations during earthquakes caused by elastic flapping effect. Scientific Reports, 9: article 1117; doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37716-y
  • Weaver, K.C.; Doan, M.-L.; Cox, S.C.; Townend, J.; Holden, C. 2019 Tidal behavior and water-level changes in gravel aquifers in response to multiple earthquakes : a case study from New Zealand. Water Resources Research, Online first: doi: 10.1029/2018WR022784 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Van Houtte, C.; Denolle, M. 2018 Improved model fitting for the empirical Green's function approach using hierarchical models. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 123(4): 2923-2942; doi: 10.1002/2017JB014943
  • Ando, R.; Kaneko, Y. 2018 Dynamic rupture simulation reproduces spontaneous multifault rupture and arrest during the 2016 Mw 7.9 Kaikoura earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(23): 12,875-12,883; doi: 10.1029/2018GL080550
  • Kaneko, Y.; Wallace, L.M.; Hamling, I.J.; Gerstenberger, M.C. 2018 Simple physical model for the probability of a subduction-zone earthquake following slow slip events and earthquakes : application to the Hikurangi megathrust, New Zealand. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(9): 3932-3941; doi: 10.1029/2018GL077641
  • Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Fry, B. 2018 Joint local earthquake and teleseismic inversion for 3-D velocity and Q in New Zealand. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 283: 48-66; doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2018.08.005 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Peng, Z.; Fry, B.; Chao, K.; Yao, D.; Meng, X.; Jolly, A.D. 2018 Remote triggering of microearthquakes and tremor in New Zealand following the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108(3B): 1784-1793; doi: 10.1785/0120170327
  • Mountjoy, J.J.; Howarth, J.D.; Orpin, A.R.; Barnes, P.M.; Bowden, D.A.; Rowden, A.A.; Schimel, A.C.G.; Holden, C.; Horgan, H.J.; Nodder, S.D.; Patton, J.R.; Lamarche, G.; Gerstenberger, M.C.; Micallef, A.; Pallentin, A.; Kane, T. 2018 Earthquakes drive large-scale submarine canyon development and sediment supply to deep-ocean basins. Science Advances, 4(3): eaar3748; doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3748 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Warren-Smith, E.; Fry, B.; Kaneko, Y.; Chamberlain, C.J. 2018 Foreshocks and delayed triggering of the 2016 MW7.1 Te Araroa earthquake and dynamic reinvigoration of its aftershock sequence by the MW7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, New Zealand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 482: 265-276; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.11.020 [Link to electronic copy]
  • McGuire, J.J.; Kaneko, Y.2018 Directly estimating earthquake rupture area using second moments to reduce the uncertainty in stress drop. Geophysical Journal International, 214(3): 2224-2235; doi: 10.1093/gji/ggy201
  • Tape, C.; Holtkamp, S.; Silwal, V.; Hawthorne, J.; Kaneko, Y.; Ampuero, J.P.; Ji, C.; Ruppert, N.; Smith, K.; West, M.E. 2018 Earthquake nucleation and fault slip complexity in the lower crust of central Alaska. Nature geoscience, 11: 536-541; doi: 10.1038/s41561-018-0144-2
  • Massey, C.I.; Townsend, D.B.; Rathje, E.; Allstadt, K.E.; Lukovic, B.; Kaneko, Y.; Bradley, B.; Wartman, J.; Jibson, R.W.; Petley, D.M.; Horspool, N.A.; Hamling, I.J.; Carey, J.M.; Cox, S.C.; Davidson, J.; Dellow, G.D.; Godt, G.W.; Holden, C.; Jones, K.E.; Kaiser, A.E.; Little, M.; Lyndsell, B.M.; McColl, S.; Morgenstern, R.M.; Rengers, F.K.; Rhoades, D.A.; Rosser, B.J.; Strong, D.T.; Singeisen, C.; Villeneuve, M. 2018 Landslides triggered by the 14 November 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, New Zealand. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108(3B): 1630-1648; doi: 10.1785/0120170305
  • Harris, R.A.; Barall, M.; Aagard, B.; Ma, S.; Roten, D.; Olsen, K.; Duan, B.; Liu, D.; Luo, B.; Bai, K.; Ampuero, J.-P.; Kaneko, Y.; Gabriel, A.-A.; Duru, K.; Ulrich, T.; Wollherr, S.; Shi, Z.; Dunham, E.; Bydlon, S.; Zhang, Z.; Chen, X.; Somala, S.N.; Pelties, C.; Tago, J.; Cruz-Atienza, V.M.; Kozdon, J.; Daub, E.; Aslam, K.; Kase, Y.; Withers, K.; Dalguer, L. 2018 A suite of exercises for verifying dynamic earthquake rupture codes. Seismological Research Letters, 89(3): 1146-1162; doi: 10.1785/0220170222
  • Wei, M.; Kaneko, Y.; Shi, P.; Liu, Y. 2018 Numerical modeling of dynamically triggered shallow slow slip events in New Zealand by the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(10): 4764-4772; doi: 10.1002/2018GL077879
  • Kubota, T.; Saito, T.; Ito, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Wallace, L.M.; Suzuki, S.; Hino, R.; Henrys, S.A. 2018 Using tsunami waves reflected at the coast to improve offshore earthquake source parameters : application to the 2016 Mw 7.1 Te Araroa earthquake, New Zealand. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 123(10): 8767-8779; doi: 10.1029/2018JB015832
  • Wen, Y.-Y.; Ma, K.-F.; Fry, B. 2018 Multiple-fault, slow rupture of the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake : complementary insights from teleseismic and geodetic data. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108(3B): 1774-1783; doi: 10.1785/0120170285 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Van Houtte C., and M. Denolle (2018), Improved model fitting for the empirical Green's function approach using hierarchical models, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 123, doi:10.1002/2017JB014943.
  • Van Houtte, C.; Larkin, T.; Holden, C. 2018 On durations, peak factors, and nonstationary corrections in seismic hazard applications of random vibration theory. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Online first: doi: 10.1785/0120170076
  • Holden, C., Kaneko, Y., D’Anastasio, E., Benites, R., Fry, B. & Hamling, I. J. (2017). The 2016 Kaikōura earthquake revealed by kinematic source inversion and seismic wavefield simulations: Slow rupture propagation on a geometrically complex crustal fault network. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075301
  • Kaiser, A.E., et al. (2017), The 2016 Kaikōura, New Zealand, earthquake: preliminary seismological report (2017), Seismological Research Letters, 88(3): 1-13; doi: 10.1785/0220170018.
  • Van Houtte, C. 2017 Performance of response spectral models against New Zealand data. Bulletin of the New Zealand National Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(1): 21-38
  • Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Fry, B. 2017 A new scheme for joint surface wave and earthquake travel-time inversion and resulting 3-D velocity model for the western North Island, New Zealand. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 269: 98-111; doi:
  • Kaneko, Y.; Wang, X. (2017), 2016 M7.8 Kaikoura earthquake and tsunami computer simulations. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. 1 video; doi: 10.21420/G2M012
  • Van Houtte, C.; Bannister, S.; Holden, C.; Bourguignon, S.; McVerry, G.H. 2017 The New Zealand Strong Motion Database. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(1): 1-20
  • Kaneko, Y., E. Fukuyama, and I.J. Hamling (2017), Slip-weakening distance and energy budget inferred from near-fault ground deformation during the 2016 Mw7.8 Kaikōura earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(10): 4765-4773; doi: 10.1002/2017GL073681.
  • Bradley, B.A.; Wotherspoon, L.M.; Kaiser, A.E. 2017 Ground motion and site effect observations in the Wellington region from the 2016 Mw7.8 Kaikoura, New Zealand earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(2): 94-105
  • Wallace, L.M., Y. Kaneko, S. Hreinsdottir, I. Hamling, Z. Peng, N. Bartlow, E. D’Anastasio, and B. Fry (2017), Large-scale dynamic triggering of shallow slow slip enhanced by overlying sedimentary wedge, Nature Geoscience, doi: 10.1038/ngeo3021
  • Van Houtte, C.; Ktenidou, O.-J.; Larkin, T.; Holden, C. 2017 A continuous map of near-surface S-wave attenuation in New Zealand. Geophysical Journal International, Online first: doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx559
  • Kaiser, A.E.; Van Houtte, C.; Perrin, N.D.; Wotherspoon, L.; McVerry, G.H. 2017 Site characterisation of GeoNet stations for the New Zealand Strong Motion Database. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(1): 39-49
  • Kaiser, A.E.; Bradley, B.; Holden, C.; McGann, C.; Oth, A.; Goded, T.; McVerry, G.H.; Jeong, S.; Das, S.; Lee, R.; Taylor, M.; Benites, R.; Cubrinovski, M.; Fry, B.; Mueller, C. 2016 Quantification and numerical modelling of source, path, and site-specific effects in the Canterbury earthquakes: NHRP contestable project 2012-GNS-07 final report. GNS Science consultancy report 2016/07. 18 p.
  • Holden, C.; Kaiser, A.E. 2016 Stochastic ground motion modelling of the largest Mw 5.9+ aftershocks of the Canterbury 2010–2011 earthquake sequence. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 59(1): 187-201; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2015.1133664
  • Fry, B.; Ma, K.-F. 2016 Implications of the great Mw 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake on the understanding of natural hazard in Taiwan and New Zealand. Seismological Research Letters, 87(6): 1254-1258; doi: 10.1785/0220160154 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Kaneko, Y.; Hamling, I.J.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Motagh, M.; Samsonov, S.V. 2015 InSAR imaging of displacement on flexural-slip faults triggered by the 2013 Mw 6.6 Lake Grassmere earthquake, central New Zealand. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(3): 781-788; doi: 10.1002/2014GL062767
  • McVerry, G. H.; Holden, C. 2014, A modified ground-motion prediction equation to accommodate simulated Hikurangi subduction interface motions for Wellington, GNS Science Consultancy Report 2014/131. 30 p.
  • Steacy, S.; Jimenez, A.; Holden, C. 2014 Stress triggering and the Canterbury earthquake sequence. Geophysical Journal International, 196(1): 473-480; doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt380
  • Bell, R.; Holden, C.; Power, W.L.; Wang, X.; Downes, G.L. 2014 Hikurangi margin tsunami earthquake generated by slow seismic rupture over a subducted seamount. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 397: 1-9; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.04.005
  • Fry, B.; Davey, F.J.; Eberhart-Phillips, D.; Lebedev, S. 2014 Depth variable crustal anisotropy, patterns of crustal weakness, and destructive earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 392: 50-57; doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.02.013 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Ristau, J.; Holden, C.; Kaiser, A.E.; Williams, C.A.; Bannister, S.C.; Fry, B. 2013 The Pegasus Bay aftershock sequence of the Mw 7.1 Darfield (Canterbury), New Zealand earthquake. Geophysical Journal International, 195(1): 444-459; doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt222
  • Holden, C.; Kaiser, A.E.; Van Dissen, R.J.; Jury, R. 2013 Sources, ground motion and structural response characteristics in Wellington of the 2013 Cook Strait earthquakes. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 46(4): 188-195
  • Holden, C., Zhao, J., Stirling, M., 2013, Ground motion modelling of a large subduction interface earthquake in Wellington, New Zealand. in proceedings, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Technical Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 26-28 April, 2013. Paper No. 7. 8 p.
  • Kaiser, A.E.; Holden, C.; Beavan, R.J.; Beetham, R.D.; Benites, R.A.; Celentano, A.; Collet, D.; Cousins, W.J.; Cubrinovski, M.; Dellow, G.D.; Denys, P.; Fielding, E.; Fry, B.; Gerstenberger, M.C.; Langridge, R.M.; Massey, C.I.; Motagh, M.; Pondard, N.; McVerry, G.H.; Ristau, J.; Stirling, M.W.; Thomas, J.; Uma, S.R.; Zhao, J.X. 2012 The Mw 6.2 Christchurch Earthquake of February 2011 : preliminary report. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 55(1): 67-90; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2011.641182
  • Kaiser, A., Holden, C., Zhao, J., McVerry, G., Benites, R., 2012, It’s Our Fault: Ground motion modelling of local site effects in the Wellington region. GNS Science Consultancy Report 2012/172: 41p.
  • Holden, C., Zhao, J., 2011. Modelling strong ground motions for subduction events in the Wellington region, New Zealand. in proceedings, 9th Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Auckland, New Zealand, 14-16 April, 2011: Paper 229.
  • Holden, C. 2011 Kinematic source model of the 22 February 2011 Mw 6.2 Christchurch Earthquake using strong motion data. Seismological Research Letters, 82(6): 783-788; doi: 10.1785/gssrl.82.6.783
  • Holden, C.; Zhao, J.X. 2011 Preliminary broadband modelling of an Alpine Fault earthquake in Christchurch. Lower Hutt: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2011/28. 15 p.
  • Fry, B.; Benites, R.A.; Kaiser, A.E. 2011 The character of accelerations in the Mw 6.2 Christchurch Earthquake. Seismological Research Letters, 82(6): 846-852; doi: 10.1785/gssrl.82.6.846
  • Fry, B.; Benites, R.A.; Reyners, M.E.; Holden, C.; Kaiser, A.E.; Bannister, S.; Gerstenberger, M.C.; Williams, C.A.; Ristau, J.; Beavan, R.J. 2011 Strong shaking in recent New Zealand earthquakes. Eos, 92(41): 349-351
  • Gledhill, K.R.; Ristau, J.; Reyners, M.E.; Fry, B.; Holden, C. 2011 The Darfield (Canterbury, New Zealand) Mw7.1 earthquake of September 2010 : a preliminary seismological report. Seismological Research Letters, 82(3): 378-386; doi: 10.1785/gssrl.82.3.378
  • Fry, B.; Chao, K.; Bannister, S.; Peng, Z.; Wallace, L.M. 2011 Deep tremor in New Zealand triggered by the 2010 Mw 8.8 Chile earthquake. Geophysical Research Letters, 38: L15306; doi: 10.1029/2011GL048319 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Fry, B.; Gerstenberger, M.C. 2011 Large apparent stresses from the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Seismological Research Letters, 82(6): p, 833-838; doi: 10.1785/gssrl.82.6.833 [Link to electronic copy]
  • Beavan, R.J.; Wang, X.; Holden, C.; Wilson, K.J.; Power, W.L.; Prasetya, G.; Bevis, M.; Kautoke, R. 2010 Near-simultaneous great earthquakes at Tongan megathrust and outer rise in September 2009. Nature, 466(7309): 959-964; doi: 10.1038/nature09292
  • Holden, C.; Bannister, S.C.; Beavan, R.J.; Cousins, W.J.; Field, B.J.; McCaffrey, R.; McVerry, G.H.; Reyners, M.E.; Ristau, J.; Samsonov, S.; Wallace, L.M. 2008 The Mw 6.6 Gisborne earthquake of 2007 : preliminary records and general source characterisation. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 41(4): 266-277