SOUTH AUSTRALIA: A remote South Australian Aboriginal community will help scientists understand the impact of a recent earthquake that was the biggest to strike the mainland in 15 years.
Geoscientists want to find out just how much the landscape changed in the 5.7-magnitude earthquake that rocked the community of a few hundred Aboriginal Australians in and around Ernabella on March 23.
The area is just south of the border with the Northern Territory, about 317km southwest of Alice Springs, 230km southeast of Uluru and 415km northwest of Coober Pedy.
Earthquake geologists from Geoscience Australia will inspect rock falls and talk to local residents about their experiences during the event and their observations of changes to the landscape.
Geoscience Australia Earthquake Hazard Program leader David Burbidge, says the team will also look for evidence of any previous large earthquakes in the area.
“The information will help seismologists develop a greater understanding of the large earthquake potential in this part of central Australia and help with the assessment of earthquake hazard across the continent,” Dr Burbidge said in a statement.
Two 3.6-magnitude quakes hit near Ernabella on March 30 and April 8.
The March 23 earthquake is the biggest recorded in Australia since a 6.3-magnitude earthquake off Collier Bay on West Australia’s north coast in 1997.
Experts said the earthquake could have caused damage up to 40km away and had been felt by people up to 507km away.