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Surveying after an earthquake

20 March 2011

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

The Christchurch Earthquake has far reaching effects, and it is difficult to fathom the extent of these effects. At this time, members of the Institute of Surveyors, and also mindful of the effects on their colleagues in Christchurch, and our sympathy and support reaches to them. Apart from their personal and property losses, they will also face the overwhelming task of Surveying in areas which have undergone land movements to varying degrees.

Surveyors establish their field surveys by proving the reliability of three survey marks. To be reliable these marks must not be disturbed. One can only imagine the potential range of ground movement that may have occurred in Christchurch, making survey marks unreliable. The task of finding 3 reliable marks could become daunting.

New temporary rules have been issued to Surveyors in areas affected, to assist their work during this immediate period. Longer term, the network of survey control marks, will need to be re-established and resurveyed.

Our community must be thankful that we have not in recent times, suffered such traumatic experiences, and be thankful for the environment that we live in.