Shake and quake

Shake and quake

A3.2 magnitude earthquake was reported on Friday night in the Southern Ocean, about 107km south of Mount Gambier.

The earthquake was recorded at a depth of 10km and was detected at about 9.30pm.

The last time an earthquake occurred in a 100km radius from this area was on December 27, 2022 which had a magnitude of 3.8 (the largest recorded in the area over 20 years).

There have been at least 20 events recorded over the past two decades within a 100km radius of the recent Southern Ocean earthquake, eight of which recorded magnitudes higher than three.

Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Hadi Ghasemi said it averages out to about one earthquake with a magnitude of three or higher in the area every two years which is not uncommon.

“I think you can classify it (the recent earthquake) as a traditional earthquake happening in the Australian continent so a tectonic setting,” he said.

“It is just an Australian (tectonic) plate moving towards north/north east.

“That movement basically causes a slow build-up of stress in the interior of the continent and that stress is eventually released during earthquakes.”

In 1897, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in Beachport which caused damage at Robe and Beachport and as far as Adelaide.

Mr Ghasemi said there was the potential for aftershocks following the main shock if the earthquake follows that specific sequence.

“The aftershocks are generally the smaller events that follow the main shock which is the largest one in the sequence … but generally speaking the aftershocks are much smaller than the main shock and also their frequency and magnitude decrease quickly with time,” he said.

Mr Ghasemi encourages anyone who felt the earthquake to complete a “felt report” on the Geoscience Australia website to help them more accurately map the level of ground shaking in future events.

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