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Earthquake-Induced Landscape Dynamics

Hapuku landslide dam formed as a result of the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake
Take a Tour of how the breached dam looked in 2019

Managing the risk from earthquake induced landslides

Large earthquakes, like the November 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake, can generate thousands of landslides, landslide dams and damage hillslopes that are susceptible to failure during rainstorms and aftershocks. This debris, when mobilised, creates new hazards, including further landslides, landslide dams, rapid aggradation and formation of alluvial fans and floodplains, and increased river channel instability, as the debris cascades from hillslope to sea. These hazards may persist for decades and therefore represent a prolonged risk that must be managed by the impacted communities and stakeholders.
Earthquake-induced landscape dynamics is funded by the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour fund. The five year programme (2018-2023) is led by GNS Science in association with a number of research partners. The research is directed to effectively manage earthquake- and post-earthquake landslide risk using an integrated set of predictive tools guided by an evidence-based decision making framework by determining over what time scales do landscapes heal after major earthquakes. The Kaikōura earthquake provides a laboratory to quantify post-earthquake landscape dynamics.

The research will:

Develop a framework and tools to allow people to manage the risk to life, property and infrastructure from landslide and other sediment hazards caused by the Kaikōura earthquake and other earthquakes in NZ. The research programme has seven themes
A tool box and decision-making framework will be developed that will better inform landslide risk avoidance and residual risk-management methods and practices for people and stakeholders: 1) affected by the Kaikōura earthquake; and 2) affected by future earthquakes in New Zealand and overseas.
Explore the research
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