It is believed rockslides within the canyon could trigger tsunamis, affecting Wellington’s coastline.
But Marine Geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy says the chances of that happening are unknown.
He says the scientists are working on a project to understand how often rockfalls occur, and will build models to see whether or not they are capable of producing a tsunami.
Dr Mountjoy says the canyon is 1800 square kilometres in area, with depths reaching up to 3000 metres in places.
Image / Huge waves hit Cook Strait in 2009, Sam Hall
on 14/02/2011 7:35am
Good stuff but with Wellington so close to this trench, how much time would those on the low lying coastal areas get before a tsunami struck?
A bit like standing in front of a truck hurtling at you, but having little or no time to get out of it’s way.
I don’t want to apear cynical, but it’s like a new way has been found to spend tax payers money, again.
We know the threat is always there for a Tsunami in Wellington but maybe other avenues need to be covered.
on 14/02/2011 3:40pm
Hmm…so Government-funded research is a ‘new’ way to spend taxpayers’ money, David?
Right, next those crazy folk in the beehive will want to spend money on health, education, defence, welfare and foreign aid.
Of course if this research wasn’t done, a dozen Davids would moan that the government didn’t ‘do something’ about the threat.
on 15/02/2011 3:32am
haha so well said