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BHP's planned Olympic Dam expansion to increase output of copper ¦ Amendments to exclusion periods for WPA access zones, issued February 2019 ¦ Mineral Resources Division is now based at level 4, 11 Waymouth Street, Adelaide 5000

The South Australian earthquake monitoring network is used to measure local earth movements (seismic activity) as well as record events from all around the world

Earthquake monitoring network station locations

There are a number of stations located around the State that continuously record vibration. The data are used to determine the location, depth and magnitude of an event. The Geological Survey of South Australia produces and reports this data which is used to inform the community, for scientific research, and by engineers for seismic risk analysis and structure design.

There are four networks running in South Australia; the Geological Survey of South Australia, Geoscience Australia, the Seismometers in Schools program, and a private network.

Most seismographs transmit their data in real time to a centralised monitoring system.

The Geological Survey network is a sensitive network, particularly focussed on detecting small earthquakes in the area within 100 km of Adelaide, but also covers the Flinders Ranges, the South East, and other areas. It is sensitive enough to regularly record many overseas earthquakes, sometimes below magnitude 5. Near the Adelaide area it can record earthquakes under magnitude 1.

The Geological Survey uses data from all four networks to locate any earthquakes within South Australia, and nearby areas, including the ocean to the south. Earthquake locations are published on SARIG as soon as completed.

Urban monitoring

It is well known that soils amplify earthquake vibrations, and in general, softer soils are worse than firmer soils. The damage from the Newcastle 1989 earthquake was clearly worse on soft soils. In the 1997 Burra earthquake, the recording in Adelaide from devices located on soil was significantly stronger than from those located on rock just outside the city. This is shown in the diagram on the right (upper recording on soil, lower recording on rock).

A few instruments are located on soil in the Adelaide metropolitan area to record this amplification if a moderate sized earthquake occurs. There are no buildings or structures in the urban area that are monitored.

For more information, contact:

David Love
Senior Geophysicist Seismologist
+61 8 8463 3177