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Researchers working on the Westland Deep Fault Drilling Project have drilled nearly 900 metres down into the alpine fault at Whataroa in Westland, looking at how the fault looks and sounds before an earthquake.
(Video - 4:40 Minutes)
The research, lead by GNS Science, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago, was published today in the international journal Nature.
Victoria University researcher John Townend, one of the lead scientists on the project, told Nine to Noon 40°C temperatures would be normal at 800 metres below the surface, but the team recorded temperatures three times that - about 120°C.
Similar geothermal temperatures were normally found at depths greater than three kilometres.