Deep Fault Drilling Project, New Zealand


Mount Sopris logging equipment was used to gather critical information on the Deep Fault Drilling Project in New Zealand. The Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP) is an international science project studying the Alpine Fault in western South Island. Through the project, researchers retrieved rock and fluid samples, made geophysical and hydraulic measurements, and established a long term monitoring observatory inside the fault zone.

Drill Site DFDP

Other projects around the world have drilled into major faults, but usually not long after they have ruptured in an earthquake. The Alpine Fault is thought to be ready to fail in a large earthquake within coming decades, so it provides an opportunity to take a close look at a fault in the late phase of its seismic cycle. The drilling project is therefore of international scientific significance, but is also important to New Zealand because it will provide new scientific insights into how the fault operates, and the sort of earthquake we can expect.


“DFDP-2” refers to the second stage of the Deep Fault Drilling Project and to the 1.3km-deep borehole that was drilled during this phase of the project. Throughout the video above, the Mount Sopris and ALT acoustic televiewer, Idronaut water quality, fluid temperature and conductivity, and other probes were used to collect valuable data about this fault and the surrounding geology. For more information about the project, please visit the DFDP webpage. The final report is recently available for free download through the GNS Science website. Another video with further information about the Alpine Fault follows.


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