Canterbury’s earthquake sensor network performing well

Our Science

20 March 2024

3440 Lloyd Homer GNS Science

We've completed a review of the Canterbury network of earthquake sensors.

GNS Science leads and contributes to research efforts that seek to understand our earthquakes and ensure our communities are prepared and resilient.

Nationwide, there are hundreds of seismographs and strong motion sensors monitoring thousands of small shakes and many large quakes per year. As part of our ongoing commitment to this work, we continually review, upgrade and maintain the New Zealand network to ensure best performance and the most effective distribution. 

In 2023 we conducted a scheduled review of the Canterbury network of earthquake sensors – what we call the ‘Canterbury Strong Motion Network.’ This was led by GNS Science Operations Specialist, Sam Taylor-Offord.

Starting as a world-class network in the early 2000s and growing significantly after the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes, the Canterbury Strong Motion Network is the most extensive and densest part of the wider GeoNet sensor network. Our review ensures it offers the most effective capability for the detection, characterisation, and effective response to earthquakes of all sizes across Canterbury. 

The review has concluded that the network is fit for purpose and performing to global standard. Redistribution planning recommends minimal changes, which will be effected over the coming months.

Of 76 sensor sites, 7 will be relocated within Canterbury to improve the overall coverage of the network and 8 sites will be relocated in the wider GeoNet strong motion network to improve coverage in other key areas.

Find more content related to:

GNS Science areas

By continuing with this download you agree to abide by the rules laid out in the Terms and conditions/Terms of use listed on this page.

If there are no specific Terms and conditions/Terms of use listed then please refer to our Copyright and Disclaimer page and Privacy Policy page