Digital Photograph: Liquefaction in Hagley Park

Sarah Murray
Production date
06 Sep 2010
One landscape colour digital photograph taken on 6 September 2010 showing liquefaction in Hagley Park.
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Liquefaction is the name of the process where water pushes sand and silt above ground. These puddles of sand and silt are left above ground. Liquefaction caused huge problems when it occurred in residential suburbs as was as likely to push through the floor of a house as it was to flood over a paved walkway as it did here. This was a particular problem in the northern and eastern suburbs of Christchurch where the Student Volunteer Army removed 65,000 tonnes of liquefaction after 4 September 2010 alone.
Intense ground shaking during a large earthquake causes waterlogged silt and sand to lose its strength. Once this happens, the sediment liquefies and the solid sediment behaves like a fluid. Liquefied sediment cannot support the weight of whatever is above it. Under that weight, the liquefied sediment is forced into any available cracks and crevasses, and breaks out to the surface as sand volcanoes. Liquefaction causes damage to the land and infrastructure. It can also cause the ground surface to subside or large cracks to open through lateral spreading.
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