Earthquake Twists Railroad Tracks

On September 4th, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand. Pictured above is a railroad track that crossed the fault line near Rolleston. Geographer Dave Petley of the American Geophysical Union writes:

The second image is particularly interesting. Note how the rails show high levels of deformation whilst the surrounding ground shows comparatively little. Notice also how the big kink on the left side has pushed the ballast aside and into the track side ditch This has happened on the right side too, but to a lesser extent. The right side bend nearest the camera has pushed the ballast towards the camera.

My initial hypothesis here (I am no expert on railway track deformation) in order to stimulate discussion is that the buckling may be the result of compressional deformation across a broad zone. The compression on the very strong railway line was accommodated when a weak point was found, leading to a comparatively rapid deformation to form the main buckle on the left. This then concentrated stress on both sides of the buckle, allowing the other (right side) bends to form.

Link via Gizmodo | Photo: Malcolm Teasdale

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I can assure you that this is not fake. As someone who experienced this earthquake firsthand a couple months ago this sort of thing is the norm as you walk around Christchurch and drive around the Canterbury region.
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and, once again cos people just don't seem to get it:

Watch the first 10 seconds of this vid. Nothing fake about it. Try living through a 7.1 quake and then you are qualified to call whatever you want.
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Here's a great one. The second picture on this link is a different angle of the same deformed track. The angles apear even sharper from the new perspective, and imposible to photoshop.

Remember: Google is your friend.
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A quick google for NZ earthquake and railroad yielded the above link.

It has a great photoshop, they even turned the locomotive over in it.
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i call fake cause im from new zealand and havent seen this photo in any news representation here. and believe me, if this was real the photo would have been put everywhere all the time! such is our annoying news representation.

that said the destruction in the latest quake was pretty epic
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