Monday 24 August 2020

Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake to the southeast of Townsville, Queensland.

Geoscience Australia recorded a Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km about 200 km to the southeast of the city of Townsville in Queensland State, Australia, at about 1.00 pm local time (about 3.00 am GMT) on Sunday 23 August 2020. While there are no reports of any damage or injuries associated with event, but it was felt as far away as Townsville and Hughenden.

 The approximate location of the 23 August 2020 Queensland Earthquake. USGS.

Large Earthquakes are rare in Queensland, making it hard to determine their causes. Prior to 1977, when geologists in Australia began to use seismographs to understand Earthquakes, only two Earthquakes had ever been recorded in southern Queensland. Since the introduction of seismographs, many tremors have been recorded in the area, most of them to small to have been noticed (or recognized) by human witnesses. Many of these quakes have occurred along a belt running to the east of Bundaberg, from about Gladstone in the north to Gayndah in the south, leading the Geohazards Group of Geoscience Australia to theorize that there may be an undocumented but active fault in the area.

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.

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