National Capital experiences earthquake

20 April 2012

Earthquake monitoring at Geoscience Australia.

Earthquake monitoring at
Geoscience Australia.
© Geoscience Australia

A magnitude 3.7 earthquake occurred near the small village of Wee Jasper, about 47 kms west of Canberra at 5:09 AEST today.

"The quake was felt widely throughout the Canberra region, and even as far away as Jindabyne, with many people reporting that their house windows shook and a rumbling sound similar to a truck going past. There were no reports of damage," said Seismologist Clive Collins.

The earthquake was the fourth reported in the Wee Jasper area in the past 10 years with the largest measuring 4.2 magnitude on 14 February 1998.

"These intra-plate earthquakes occur due to the release of stress, which has built up in the Earth's crust as a result of the movement of the tectonic plates. The Australian continent is part of the Indian-Australian plate which is being pushed slowly northeast at approximately 7cm per year," said Clive Collins.

The largest earthquake in Australia occurred in 1941 in Meeberrie, Western Australia, estimated at a magnitude of 7.2.

Geoscience Australia has a role in monitoring, analysing and reporting all earthquakes that can be located in Australia, as well as any significant earthquakes occurring overseas.

If you heard or felt the earthquake, you can participate in Australian earthquake research by filling out a report on the Geoscience Australia Felt Report website.

More details about the occurrence of earthquakes in the ACT and surrounding areas can be found in Earthquakes in the Canberra Region.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013