Story: Historic earthquakes

Extent of shaking, Marlborough earthquake, 16 October 1848

The Modified Mercalli scale (from 1 to 12) measures earthquakes by the intensity of shaking observed. Reports from historical records and diaries – including information from ships at sea – were used to compile this map. It shows the extent of shaking from the Marlborough earthquake of 16 October 1848. The isoseismal lines radiate from the epicentre in the Awatere valley with intensity 9. The earthquake was felt over much of central New Zealand. Wellington (intensity 7) was badly shaken, and three people were killed there.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Source: G. L. Downes, Atlas of isoseismal maps of New Zealand earthquakes. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, 1995.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Historic earthquakes - The 1848 Marlborough earthquake', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/4384/extent-of-shaking-marlborough-earthquake-16-october-1848 (accessed 24 July 2019)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 28 Mar 2011, updated 1 Nov 2017