Minor earthquake in Kalgoorlie

05 July 2006

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake occurred about 6km south-east of Kalgoorlie at eight minutes past midnight Western Australian time this morning.

"While people would have felt this minor Earth movement up to 40km away from the epicentre, it was not a structurally damaging earthquake. The earthquake was felt by residents in the local area, who contacted the local police station," said Duty Seismologist Dr Trevor Allen.

"This size earthquake is not uncommon for this region. In the last 20 years, the region has experienced an earthquake of this size about once a year - the largest one was a magnitude 4.5 near Coolgardie in 1987," he said.

"This type of event, called an intraplate earthquake, happens when stresses in the crust overcome the strength of the crustal rocks. The earthquake is caused when the rocks 'break'. This is part of the Earth's natural dynamic processes. The Australian continent is part of the Indian-Australian plate which is moving slowly north-east at approximately 7cm per year," said Dr Allen.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013