By Evan

Waterfall at the Devil’s Punchbowl, Arthur’s Pass

On the second day of the field trip, we travelled through Christchurch to look at damage caused by the earthquake in 2011. This was a devastating blow to the city, causing great losses in property and life.

Christchurch Cathedral

In the red zone area in downtown Christchurch, many of the high rises and historic buildings were damaged. Many buildings had already been cleared, but some, like the famous Cathedral were still in ruins.

Liquifaction Damage

Some areas in Christchurch suffered damage due to the liquefaction of the sediments that houses and other structures were built on. It was very sobering to witness the damage.


Before leaving Christchurch, we had to check out the “Gold Medal Winning” steak and cheese pies at the French Bakery.

Surface expression of the Darfield Earthquake

After moving out west of Christchurch, we checked out the Greendale fault, which ruptured during the Darfield earthquake. There were several metres of motion along the fault, which was very clear by looking at fences and tree lines that were perpendicular to the fault. The picture above shows how much motion there was – the fence line used to be completely straight, but moved in a right-lateral sense.

Castle Hill

Moving on, we went through Arthur’s Pass through the mountains. This is Castle Hill, home of large rocks that we didn’t have time to hike to.

Cave Stream

Cave Stream is a cave with a stream running through. Go figure. The rocks are a limestone, with chunks of other more silicic rocks in it.

Otira Viaduct

It was getting a bit late, so we didn’t have time to do many stops after the Cave Stream. We had to stop of the amazing piece of engineering that is the Otira viaduct.