Journal gathers Christchurch quake research

9:52 am on 2 November 2011

A publication for seismologists has devoted a special edition to the Christchurch earthquakes including articles suggesting why the February quake was so damaging.

One paper in the edition of Seismological Research Letters notes liquefaction caused by the quake was the most significant ever observed in an urban area.

It suggests sediment in Christchurch is particularly vulnerable.

GNS Science seismologist Caroline Holden, who wrote one of the 19 papers in the edition, says recording equipment put in place after the September quake has proved a goldmine of information for researchers.

She says it is the first time there has been so much information from such a major earthquake.

"From an engineering and geotechnical point of view this is like heaven", she says.

Another paper says the way seismic waves were reflected and amplified by the Canterbury basin could have implications for cities with similar geography, such as Dunedin.