Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (9.98 MB)

A Consistent Geological-Seismological Model For Earthquake Occurrence in New Zealand

Download (9.98 MB)
posted on 2021-11-03, 22:28 authored by Stock, Christian

For the development of earthquake occurrence models, historical earthquake catalogues and compilations of mapped, active faults are often used. The goal of this study is to develop new methodologies for the generation of an earthquake occurrence model for New Zealand that is consistent with both data sets. For the construction of a seismological earthquake occurrence model based on the historical earthquake record, 'adaptive kernel estimation' has been used in this study. Based on this method a technique has been introduced to filter temporal sequences (e.g. aftershocks). Finally, a test has been developed for comparing different earthquake occurrence models. It has been found that the adaptive kernel estimation with temporal sequence filtering gives the best joint fit between the earthquake catalogue and the earthquake occurrence model, and between two earthquake occurrence models obtained from data from two independent time intervals. For the development of a geological earthquake occurrence model based on fault information, earthquake source relationships (i.e. rupture length versus rupture width scaling) have been revised. It has been found that large dip-slip and strike-slip earthquakes scale differently. Using these source relationships a dynamic stochastic fault model has been introduced. Whereas earthquake hazard studies often do not allow individual fault segments to produce compound ruptures, this model allows the linking of fault segments by chance. The moment release of simulated fault ruptures has been compared with the theoretical deformation along the plate boundary. When comparing the seismological and the geological earthquake occurrence model, it has been found that a 'good' occurrence model for large dip-slip earthquakes is given by the seismological occurrence model using the Gutenberg-Richter magnitude frequency distribution. In contrast, regions dominated by long strike-slip faults produce large earthquakes but not many small earthquakes and the occurrence of earthquakes on such faults should be inferred from the dynamic fault model.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Smith, Euan