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Posts Tagged ‘KaiKoura Earthquake’

Jeff here.

I’m a bit late writing this post. As you’re most likely aware, on November 14, 2016 there was a 7.8M earthquake centered about 15km northeast of Culverden in the South Island of New Zealand. The faults from this earthquake ruptured northeast towards Kaikoura and out to sea. State Highway 1 (SH1) and the main rail link from the Waiau River (5km south of Kaikoura) to the Clarence River (50km north of Kaikoura) suffered significant damage and will not be open for some time yet. The road has been closed due to roadway collapse, land uplift of +2m, and massive land slides.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to go to Kaikoura and inspect culverts along SH1 for damage and to flag those that required immediate repair/replacement in order to get the highway open as soon as possible. There were around 300 culverts to be inspected by two teams of two on SH1. The culverts south of Kaikoura had easy access and actually suffered very little damage from the earthquake…besides having 10 million cubic meters of soil on top of them.

The culverts north of Kaikoura were still mostly intact but were hard to get to because of the landslides. For these culverts, we had to take a helicopter to the Clarence River and walk as far south as we could get or until we met the other team who were walking north and helicoptering around the landslides. As with the culverts south of Kaikoura, the culverts north of Kaikoura suffered very little damage, that is except for those unlucky few that just happened to be in the path of a fault rupture. All in all, it was a great few days with beautiful weather and scenery.

Here are some photos:

The helicopter staging area. They were using monsoon buckets to wash loose rocks off the unstable slopes.

Large landslide on State Highway 1. If you look closely you can see the railway line pushed onto the beach.

The entire hillside collapsed.

This was just a really nice view.

The gabion basket retaining wall rolled down the hill causing the road to collapse.

This culvert was pretty easy to inspect. The road has uplifted around 2-3m.

This is the other end of the land uplift about 1km down the road. There is a box culvert that is broken in half.

The railway line will be quite difficult to fix.

The other end of the uplift/fault rupture.

Nice place for a picnic.

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