19 November 2016

Geotech engineers responding in upper South Island

New Zealand Geotechnical Society Chair Charlie Price says geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists brought in by ECAN and GNS Science are working to gather information on landslide dams in the upper South Island.

Mr Price says while says some landslide dams are likely to erode gradually and release their water over some time, others may fail suddenly with damaging effect.  It is important to be able to identify those that can cause damage.

“ECAN and GNS are working together to gather data needed to assess the dams.  GNS is systemically identifying and compiling an inventory of all landslide dams, and working to identify those at risk. Once they have completed this they will carry out analytical modelling to evaluate the risk to life safety and to property.

Mr Price says also says a team of specialist geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists has been formed to carry out geotechnical rapid response around Kaikoura. Their focus is on identifying and assessing dangers from rockfall to people and houses in the affected area.