Earthquake in Flinders Ranges

17 September 2007

An earthquake with a magnitude ranging between 4.6 and 4.8 occurred near Parachilna in the Flinders Ranges today at 8:48am Australian Central Standard Time (ACST).

Generally, an earthquake of this size could be felt up to 200 kilometres away from the epicentre which was approximately 160 kilometres NNW of Port Augusta.

"Several people in the area have reported windows and walls shaking, but we have no reports of any damage from the earthquake," said Duty Seismologist, Dr Phil Cummins.

"Earthquakes of this size are not uncommon in Australia. Our records date back to the early 1800s and show there have been seven earthquakes of the same size or bigger in the Parachilna area since 1939: the largest of these were a magnitude 5.5 at Wilpena Pound on 18 April 1972 and a magnitude 5.8 near the old Motpena homestead on 26 March 1939."

"This type of seismic event, called an intraplate earthquake, 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 Cummins.

Geoscience Australia monitors earthquakes 24/7 with over 39 seismic stations scattered around Australia detecting movements of the Earth. Information from these stations is transmitted automatically to the central office in Canberra, where seismologists determine the location, magnitude and depth of the earthquake. Geoscience Australia works closely with Primary Industry and Resources South Australia to monitor earthquakes in South Australia.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013