Story: Geological exploration

The Hope Fault

The Hope Fault

An earthquake in North Canterbury on 1 September 1888 caused a fracture along a section of the Hope Fault. The sideways movement of 2.5 metres is marked by the offset fence, which was broken by the quake but later repaired. This photograph was taken later by the geologist Alexander McKay, whose son William is standing alongside for scale. Because it was then thought that only vertical movements took place across faults, McKay’s observations were dismissed for many years as an oddity. It appears to be the first illustration recorded anywhere in the world of sideways movement along a fault rupture.

Using this item

GNS Science
Reference: 4852
Photograph by Alexander McKay

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Simon Nathan, 'Geological exploration - The New Zealand Geological Survey, 1865–1892', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2021)

Story by Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006