Cover of Damage Assessment Overview of Bridges during Canterbury Earthquakes
Damage Assessment Overview of Bridges during Canterbury Earthquakes
  • Publication no: ABC-MAR004-11
  • Published: 31 October 2011

The City of Christchurch, New Zealand experienced two major earthquakes on September 4, 2010 and February 22, 2011. A rupture of the previously unknown Greendale fault released a magnitude (M w).7.1 earthquake at 30-40km away from the city in September, while the M w 6.2.February event was less than 10km from the Central Business District on a buried fault at the edge of the city. Lifelines sustained widespread damage in Christchurch City and the closest districts of Selwyn and Waimakariri. However, no major collapses were registered, and only twenty bridges required temporary closure due to damage caused by the two earthquakes. Canterbury soils are susceptible to liquefaction, and the resulting lateral spreading extensively damaged roads, bridge abutment and approaches, and pipelines. Authors aim to provide a damage assessment overview of the seismic performance of Canterbury bridges, emphasizing unexpected issues that are still not properly detailed in New Zealand and overseas standards.