Earthquake Capabilities

Geoscience Australia plays a significant role in our region in providing information, advice and alerts to the Australian Government and the public about earthquakes, tsunami and their associated hazard and risk.

To achieve this, Geoscience Australia

  • collaborates nationally and internationally in the monitoring of earthquakes;
  • maintains an earthquake database;
  • researches and interprets historic records to add historic pre-instrumental earthquakes to the database;
  • detects and studies prehistoric fault scarps to investigate the occurrence of large, prehistoric earthquakes;
  • runs scenarios to predict the effects on modern communities of the occurrence of future large earthquakes on these prehistoric faults;
  • investigates the effect of site conditions and the attenuation of earthquake shaking with distance in order to develop ground motion models for Australia (used to calculate shaking from earthquakes of different magnitudes at various localities); and
  • uses these data to undertake earthquake hazard and risk assessments.

Geoscience Australia also operates the Canberra-based section of the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre.