New system for measuring earthquakes

11:48 am on 16 February 2012

GeoNet is to launch a new system for measuring earthquakes which it hopes will give greater accuracy for recording the strength and location of quakes.

The national quake agency says a trial for the new system will begin on 6 March, but will not replace the existing Geonet earthquake measuring system until later in the year.

Project director Ken Gledhill says the GeoNet Rapid system will allow scientists to pinpoint where the quake is happening and give a more accurate reading of its magnitude.

There has been some dispute over the accuracy of the GeoNet system with its readings often differing from the United States Geological Survey system.

Geonet recorded the 22 February earthquake at a magnitude 6.3 while USGS recorded it as magnitude 6.1.

Mr Gledhill says the current system was created in the mid-1980s and it is time to update it.