New Zealand’s Alpine Fault to Produce a Massive Earthquake—so Scientists Drilled a Big Hole Into ItAn international team that drilled almost a kilometre deep (0.6 miles) into New Zealand’s Alpine Fault, which is expected to rupture in a major earthquake in the next decades, has found extremely hot temperatures and high fluid pressures. The Alpine Fault is one of the world’s major plate boundaries and New Zealand’s most hazardous earthquake-generating fault. It runs for 650 kilometres (400 miles) along the spine of New Zealand’s South Island and we know that it ruptures on average every 300 years, producing an earthquake of about magnitude 8.