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Every year, thousands of earthquakes occur in New Zealand that are too small to be felt, but occasionally the country experiences some large earthquakes like those in the Wairarapa in 1855 and in Hawke’s Bay in 1931. The Darfield and Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010- 2011 have shown all too clearly the devastation caused when a 'quake originates close to a centre of population. For lots of information about the Christchurch Earthquakes click here.

Understanding what causes earthquakes, where and why they happen, is crucial to being best prepared. Although it is so far impossible to predict the exact timing of the next big earthquake, scientists can work out a lot about the statistical risk and potential size of future earthquakes.

Check out current research at GNS Science in Earthquake Hazards.

Have a look at these videos:

The Greendale fault trace from the air, Sept 2010

The Greendale fault trace from the air, Sept 2010

Earthquake location and magnitude and

Canterbury Earthquake - first flyover of fault trace

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Who monitors our earthquakes as well as tsunami, volcanoes and other hazards?…We do!