Hamilton 'may be at greater risk for quakes' than previously thought - researchers

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Hamilton might be at a greater risk of earthquake damage and liquefaction than many people previously thought.

Waikato University researchers Vicki Moon and Willem de Lange have been studying five fault lines, which were discovered during a subdivision project last year.

The latest EQC grant will fund underground seismic surveys of the Waikato River basin to identify risks to key city infrastructure.

Dr de Lange said aerial and ground-based surveys have already been carried out, and suggest the Hamilton basin has been shaped by active fault lines.

"It's looking very much as thought the hills that you see through Hamilton City and the surrounding area are not just a random distribution."

He said the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes showed areas where liquefaction has previously occurred are at greater risk of liquefaction in the future.

"Since the Canterbury earthquake we've been looking actively, and we've found a number of places now where there's clear evidence of liquefaction that has occurred."

Dr de Lange said the peat lake areas have evidence of previous liquefaction and are at risk of further liquefaction.

- Newstalk ZB