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VIDEO: Six months of seismic activity in 60 seconds

By Chris McDowall of

I created a video to animate six months of 2010 New Zealand seismic activity data picked up by the GeoNet sensors. The animation begins in April and ends a few days after the 7.1 quake that hit Christchurch on September 4.

Keep in mind three things when you view the video

  • Blue circles represent seismic activity recordings.
  • Each event leaves behind a small, pale red dot to show the overall pattern.
  • Most events are either small, deep or both.
  • Note how sparse the pattern of spots across Canterbury is until early September.

Visualising six months of New Zealand earthquake data (Apr 1 – Sep 7, 2010) from Chris McDowall on Vimeo.


Ken Ring on 13/09/2010 11:04pm

Notice for instance April 25, the day of the moon’s perigee but also the lunar equinox, when earthquakes regularly activate east/west faults. The only east/west fault lines in NZ are around Marborough, and these were popping off on that day and not on days either side! A search of other lunar equinox days reveal the same pattern, including the Christchurch event.

Guest on 10/09/2010 6:21am

Hi, this is great! The siesmic events recorded seem to “pulse” back and forth (north and south). Is this just the way the video is put together, or is it the way the earth shifts? Thanks, vicki

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