“Large earthquakes appear to occur in clusters, so there might be a really active phase that maybe lasts for 20,000 years, and then the fault essentially goes to sleep for about a million years,” he said. “It's still moving relatively slowly, but we think on average it's slipping around about 100 metres every million years,” he said. Dr Allen said research being done by Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University shows that there has been ‘episode recurrence” on the Lake George fault. Canberra is the capital city at highest risk of an earthquake, because of its proximity to one of Australia’s most active faults, at Lake George.

Lake George is the site of one of Australia's most active faults Photo: Jamila Toderas.

Canberra is the capital city at highest risk of an earthquake, because of its proximity to one of Australia’s most active faults, at Lake George.

“For most earthquakes across Australia it's very difficult to assign a particular fault to it.

Dr Allen said that outside of regional Australia, Canberra was now the capital city with the “highest estimated seismic hazard”. “For most earthquakes across Australia it's very difficult to assign a particular fault to it. “Large earthquakes appear to occur in clusters, so there might be a really active phase that maybe lasts for 20,000 years, and then the fault essentially goes to sleep for about a million years,” he said. “One of the things with the Newcastle earthquake is we still don't really have a good understanding of the faults on which that occurred,” he said. He said although Australia was not usually associated with large, damaging earthquakes - the last was a magnitude 5.4 in Newcastle in 1989 - there were still around 100 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or large detected across the country every year. Canberra is the capital city at highest risk of an earthquake, because of its proximity to one of Australia’s most active faults, at Lake George. “The infrastructure that we're designing at the moment, today, is likely to be around for the next 100-200 years, and these earthquakes that occur on these faults do have the potential to impact our communities in the future.”. But there are faults all around Australia, including around densely populated cities, including Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Geoscience has just released the first update to the National Seismic Hazard Assessment for Australia since 2012, with updated data incorporating potential ground-shaking hazards due to active faults.
“That last activity that we can actually find on this particular structure on the Lake George fault was around about a million years ago.”.

He said in terms of the relative energy being released from a Newcastle-sized earthquake, a quake on the Lake George fault could be roughly 1000 times greater. “For most people, that would seem quite slow, but in terms of a stable tectonic plate ... this is actually a relatively fast-moving fault. “For most people, that would seem quite slow, but in terms of a stable tectonic plate ... this is actually a relatively fast-moving fault. Sign up to receive our Breaking News Alerts and Editor's Daily Headlines featuring the best local news and stories. But while a quake is unlikely in our lifetime, senior seismologist at Geoscience Australia Trevor Allen said it always paid to be prepared.

“It's still moving relatively slowly, but we think on average it's slipping around about 100 metres every million years,” he said. We know it’s roughly 75-km long, and based on our understanding from other regions around the world, a fault that long can actually generate an earthquake as big as a magnitude 7.4.”. “We haven't actually seen an earthquake this large in Australia in historic times, and even in our lifetimes, we're probably unlikely to experience an earthquake this large, but it's important for us to actually consider these earthquakes when we're planning and designing our future communities,” he said. We know it’s roughly 75-km long, and based on our understanding from other regions around the world, a fault that long can actually generate an earthquake as big as a magnitude 7.4.” He said while the likelihood of such an event in Australia was low, it was important to take earthquakes into consideration when installing major infrastructure in our cities.
He said Lake George, site of a quake fault driven past by hundreds of commuters between NSW and the ACT each day, was “a relatively fast-moving fault” when compared to quake-prone regions like New Zealand and California.

“The infrastructure that we're designing at the moment, today, is likely to be around for the next 100-200 years, and these earthquakes that occur on these faults do have the potential to impact our communities in the future.” He said although Australia was not usually associated with large, damaging earthquakes - the last was a magnitude 5.4 in Newcastle in 1989 - there were still around 100 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or large detected across the country every year.

He said while the likelihood of such an event in Australia was low, it was important to take earthquakes into consideration when installing major infrastructure in our cities. “We haven't actually seen an earthquake this large in Australia in historic times, and even in our lifetimes, we're probably unlikely to experience an earthquake this large, but it's important for us to actually consider these earthquakes when we're planning and designing our future communities,” he said. But while a quake is unlikely in our lifetime, senior seismologist at Geoscience Australia Trevor Allen said it always paid to be prepared. Australia is a large landmass mostly with a low population density, therefore if a moderate earthquake hits somewhere in the middle of the outback it’s unlikely that there will be any significant damage.

“We think whilst it's not as obvious as the Lake George fault, that this probably has around about the same activity rate. But such a seismic event could be hundreds of thousands of years away. This is due to a number of factors, including similarities between the earthquake hazard in Perth and that of these other state capital cities. He said Canberra was also close to another active fault to the south-west, at Murrumbidgee. "So both of these structures are contributing to our higher or elevated earthquake hazard estimates for the ACT region.”, https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/silverstone-ct-migration/9dcc8f9a-2271-4e8b-b07b-6e528a7481a9/r0_303_5970_3676_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg, Eastern brown snake caught at Weston Park playground, 'It's going to change things in a big way': Canberra man wins $928k in lottery, 'It would be a devastating loss': Labor Attorney-General in fight to hold seat, Boy who raped sleeping school friend avoids jail despite 'minimal insight', Canberra Airport security guards investigated after raising concerns about COVID-19 case, Zed hits back at Humphries' attack on Liberal campaign, conservatives' control. But such a seismic event could be hundreds of thousands of years away. “One of the things with the Newcastle earthquake is we still don't really have a good understanding of the faults on which that occurred,” he said. Dr Allen said research being done by Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University shows that there has been ‘episode recurrence” on the Lake George fault.

"But what we do know is, looking at the geology and looking at the landscape and how faults have changed the landscape, we can see that these large earthquakes have occurred, such as the Lake George fault.” He said in terms of the relative energy being released from a Newcastle-sized earthquake, a quake on the Lake George fault could be roughly 1000 times greater. He said Lake George, site of a quake fault driven past by hundreds of commuters between NSW and the ACT each day, was “a relatively fast-moving fault” when compared to quake-prone regions like New Zealand and California.

"But what we do know is, looking at the geology and looking at the landscape and how faults have changed the landscape, we can see that these large earthquakes have occurred, such as the Lake George fault.”. “We think whilst it's not as obvious as the Lake George fault, that this probably has around about the same activity rate.

Geoscience has just released the first update to the National Seismic Hazard Assessment for Australia since 2012, with updated data incorporating potential ground-shaking hazards due to active faults. Then again, it could happen tomorrow. “That last activity that we can actually find on this particular structure on the Lake George fault was around about a million years ago.” He said Canberra was also close to another active fault to the south-west, at Murrumbidgee.

Dr Allen said that outside of regional Australia, Canberra was now the capital city with the “highest estimated seismic hazard”. The results also have implications for the earthquake risk facing other large Australian cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

"So both of these structures are contributing to our higher or elevated earthquake hazard estimates for the ACT region.”.


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