22 Mar 2009

Scientists plan to drill into alpine fault line

7:06 am on 22 March 2009

A plan to drill into one of New Zealand's major active fault lines is being developed by a group of international scientists.

Project leader Dr John Townend says drilling into the Alpine Fault in the South Island will reveal more information about the timing and strength of earthquakes.

He hopes drilling will start within the two years but says the scientists need to map out a plan and sort out any logistical problems first.

The 60 international scientists will be discussing the logistics of the project at a week-long meeting on the West Coast.

Dr Townend says the project is similar to others carried out on fault lines in Japan and the United States.