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New geological maps help Hawke’s Bay plan for resilient, thriving future - 05/08/2020

A series of research findings from GNS Science will include a new detailed geological map of the Napier-Hastings urban area – the first for that area for half a century.

 
Three-dimensional modelling helped GNS experts to better define the geological make-up of the area – including the extent of rocks like limestone, and faults in the region.

“We’re delighted to be able to release this map, which will soon be followed by a 3D model and a map of landforms,” Julie Lee from GNS Science says.

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New Zealand’s beautiful landscape comes with hazards like earthquakes, tsunami and landslides – and Napier-Hastings is no exception

Ian Macdonald

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“People living in Hawke’s Bay need access to the best possible information about the ground beneath their feet, and we are sure this new map will help inform future decisions about development, land use and hazard management.”

The new geological map includes improved information about the Awanui Fault, part of which ruptured in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake.

“Our new analysis using the three-dimensional modelling places the Awanui Fault closer to Bluff Hill than we had previously thought,” Julie says.

“Under Napier, the 1931 fault movement did not reach the surface, making it what we call a blind or concealed fault, not visible at the surface.

Hawkes Bay Map

“The new location doesn’t change how Napier would be affected by any earthquake on the fault, because it runs so deep – but the new information will allow Hawke’s Bay councils to make informed decisions about the future.”

GNS Science has also released maps that forecast the probability of earthquake-induced landslides across the region, using the new geology maps as a basis for the forecasts. These forecasts, along with the new geology maps will be loaded into the Hawke’s Bay Hazard Portal.

These forecast maps show the probability of a landslide sourcing from a given location, based on a range of earthquake ground shaking intensities. The maps can be used to help identify areas that may be prone to rock falls and cliff collapse.

“New Zealand’s beautiful landscape comes with hazards like earthquakes, tsunami and landslides – and Napier-Hastings is no exception,” Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Manager Ian Macdonald says.

“Working with scientific experts and the latest technology, we are building a full picture of what’s underneath the surface of our region – so we can plan for a resilient, thriving future.”