Story: Earthquakes

Wairarapa Fault scarp, Pigeon Bush (2nd of 2)

Wairarapa Fault scarp, Pigeon Bush

The steep scarp marks the Wairarapa Fault, which has ruptured several times during earthquakes in the last 5,000 years. The last recorded earthquake, in 1855, caused the channel of a stream to be offset by 18.7 metres – the largest single horizontal offset during an earthquake recorded anywhere in the world. An older offset channel to the left, which moved during an earlier earthquake, is indicated in the photograph.

Using this item

Victoria University of Wellington, Rodney Grapes
Photograph by Timothy Little

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, 'Earthquakes - What causes earthquakes?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 April 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 1 Aug 2017