Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 175, Issue 8, pp 2557–2574 | Cite as

Contribution from Multiple Fault Ruptures to Tsunami Generation During the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake

  • Aditya Riadi GusmanEmail author
  • Kenji Satake
  • Endra Gunawan
  • Ian Hamling
  • William Power
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. NZ-2016


The 2016 Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake was one of the most complex ruptures ever recorded. The epicentre was located well inland, but the rupture area extended offshore and generated a modest tsunami which was recorded by tide gauges. Here, we present a detailed estimate of seafloor vertical displacement during the earthquake sequence by a joint inversion of tsunami waveforms and vertical displacement data observed at GPS stations and obtained by field surveys. The combined dataset provides a solution with good resolution, capable of resolving test sources of 20 km of characteristic diameter throughout the study area. We found two seafloor uplift regions which are located very close to the coast, one is located offshore of the Kaikoura peninsula and the other larger uplift region is located near the Kekerengu and Needles faults. To estimate crustal deformation with a complete spatial coverage of the event, the estimated seafloor vertical displacement was combined with the inland vertical displacement from InSAR and GPS datasets. This vertical displacement is then inverted for the fault slip distributions of the Needles, Jordan–Kekerengu, Papatea, Hundalee, Hump faults, and a newly identified fault beneath Kaikoura. We also found that the Needles fault is probably an offshore extension of the Kekerengu fault. The seismic moment calculated from the fault slip distributions by assuming a rigidity of 2.7 × 1010 N/m2, is 5.19 × 1020 Nm or equivalent to Mw 7.8. This total seismic moment estimate is consistent with that of the Global Centroid Moment Tensor solution. The tsunami potential energy calculated from the seafloor vertical displacement is 9.40 × 1012 J, of which about 70% is attributed to movement on the faults known to have ruptured, suggesting a secondary source for tsunami generation.


Tsunami source model joint inversion tsunami waveforms GPS data coastal uplift data the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake crustal fault earthquake source model 



We thank Florian Monetti from MetOcean Solution Ltd. for processing and providing tsunami waveforms at three wave gauges in the Wellington Harbour. We thank Alexander Rabinovich (the Editor) and two anonymous reviewers who gave very valuable comments to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by public research funding from the Government of New Zealand, and JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) KAKENHI (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research) grant JP17K12998.

Supplementary material (179.6 mb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 605 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (XLSX 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GNS ScienceLower HuttNew Zealand
  2. 2.Earthquake Research InstituteThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Geophysical Engineering DepartmentBandung Institute of TechnologyBandungIndonesia

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