The Hikurangi Channel starts at Kaikōura and meanders for 2,000 kilometres. It runs along the Hikurangi Trough as far as Māhia, then across the Hikurangi Plateau, and finally out across the South-west Pacific abyssal plain. Most of the time, there is no flow of water in the channel. Once every few centuries an avalanche at the canyon head off Kaikōura triggers a flash flood of dense, turbid water that travels huge distances at very high speeds.
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