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Earthquake equations to help in disaster planning

April29

ChCh1New Zealand scientists are surveying several hundred people about their experiences in the February 2011 earthquake which devastated many parts of Christchurch, in the South Island.

“Teams of scientists will scour the quake-shattered eastern suburbs of Christchurch to gather vital information to improve earthquake hazard and risk assessments in New Zealand. Where owners or occupiers are willing, they will also complete a two-page questionnaire about the earthquake and its shaking characteristics.

Project leader Mark Stirling, of GNS Science, said the information would help in the development of mathematical equations that will convert felt shaking intensity into a ground acceleration figure, which will be used by scientists and engineers for a range of hazard-related purposes.

“The information from this earthquake will contribute more to this study than any other New Zealand earthquake,” Dr Stirling said.GNS2

Intensity is the human-felt scale of earthquake shaking, and a frequently-used measure is the 12-level Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale.

The equations developed from this project will be able to be used anywhere in New Zealand to make earthquake hazard maps, which can be used in land-use planning and engineering and infrastructure development.” Source: NZHerald.

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