Story: Engineering on the sea floor

Ruatōria Giant Avalanche

Ruatōria Giant Avalanche

This diagram shows the massive underwater landslide (known as the Ruatōria Giant Avalanche) that occurred off the east coast of the North Island. Part of the continental shelf collapsed and slid down to the Hikurangi Trough, on the deep sea floor. An event of this scale would have caused a tsunami. Such submarine avalanches occur rarely; smaller slips are much more common. Engineers seek advice from marine geologists in order to avoid laying cables where the seabed may be unstable.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

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How to cite this page:

Keith Lewis, 'Engineering on the sea floor - A hostile seabed', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/6632/ruatoria-giant-avalanche (accessed 12 December 2019)

Story by Keith Lewis, published 12 Jun 2006