Sunday 17 July 2016

Magnitude 3.5 Earthquake in northern Western Australia.

Geoscience Australia recorded a Magnitude 3.5 Earthquake at a depth of 80 km close to the town of Derby in northern Western Australia, slightly before 11.20 am local time (slightly before 3.20 am GMT) on Saturday 16 July 2016. An Earthquake of this size at this depth represents no threat to people or human structures, but witnesses have reported feeling shaking in the area.

The approximate location of the 16 July 2016 Western Australia Earthquake. Google Maps.

Earthquakes in northwest Australia are uncommon and seldom large, which makes understanding their causes difficult. However it is likely that quakes in this area are related to the convergent margin between the Australain plate and the Sunda and Timor Plates to the north. The Australian Plate is moving northward relative to these two plates, and is being subducted beneath them along their margin. This is occuring a considerable distance to the north of Australia itself, but may still cause stresses in the rocks beneath the landmass, causing occasional small Earthquakes.

Witness statements can help geologists to understand Earthquakes and the geological processes that cause them; if you felt this quake (or if you were in the area but did not, which is also useful information) you can report it to Geoscience Australia here.

See also... 6.3 Earthquake beneath Palau Sumba, Indonesia.                                 The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake at a depth of 28 km... 6.3 Earthquake beneath Palau Alor Island, Indonesia.                       The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake at a depth of 14 km beneath the island of Palau Alor, at the eastern end... on Batu Tara.                                On 7 April 2015 the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre reported an ash cloud rising 7 km above the island, which then drifted to the northwest. This is the first eruptive activity on the...
 Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.