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.

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

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Historic earthquakes - The 1848 Marlborough earthquake', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 April 2024)

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