New Zealand Strong-Motion Database

GNS Science and GeoNet have prepared a collection of strong motion data resources for significant New Zealand earthquakes.

The New Zealand Strong Motion Database contains a comprehensive compilation of high-quality source and site metadata for large New Zealand earthquakes, rupture models of past large earthquakes, and strong motion recordings with component-specific processing. It is intended to be used by scientists and engineers who are interested in modelling large earthquakes.

If you using the flat files or the specially-processed waveforms, please read and cite the following two articles, as well as the usual data policy of GeoNet:

If you are using the rupture models, please read and cite the reference associated with each model.

Recheck this page regularly for any updates. Comments and feedback please contact us.

Flat files


This is a collection of flat files for horizontal and vertical acceleration response spectra, and horizontal and vertical Fourier amplitude spectra of acceleration. These have been updated since the above publications, to include selected recordings from the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

04/04/16: Update to include missing Rjb, Rrup and ZTOR values for EventID 731516

Models of previous New Zealand earthquake ruptures


For selected large earthquakes, we have compiled rupture models in a common format. Models derived from both seismic and geodetic data are provided, where available:

Recordings suitable for time-domain analyses of structures


Not all of the records are suitable for time-domain analyses of structures. A list of 756 New Zealand three-component accelerograms, which are considered suitable for engineering analyses, has been compiled. The zip file below includes all of these accelerograms. Relevant metadata, such as moment magnitude, source-to-site distance, site variables and significant duration metrics, are also provided.

Processed recordings


The flat files were prepared to address the requirements of most users. For users who have more specific needs, all accelerograms used to generate the flat files are also provided. The processed three-component recordings can be found here:

Site metadata


A spreadsheet of subsurface geological information compiled at GeoNet strong motion sites (including Vs30, site period, Z1.0/depth to bedrock and NZS1170.5 site classification). More details on the compilation, including a description of data quality is given in Kaiser et al. (2017).

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