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Urban monitoring

Seismic recording of the 1997 Burra earthquake in Adelaide on soil (upper line) and on rock (lower line)It is well known that soils amplify earthquake vibrations, and in general, softer soils are worse than firmer soils.

The damage from the Newcastle 1989 earthquake was clearly worse on soft soils.

In the 1997 Burra earthquake, the recording in Adelaide on soil was significantly stronger than on rock just outside the city. This is shown in the diagram on the right (upper recording on soil, lower recording on rock).

Following the Newcastle earthquake, the Federal Government supplied equipment to expand monitoring in populated areas. This included equipment to be installed at the nearest hard rock sites.

The sites in South Australia are at Government House (soil), Mt Osmond (rock), Whyalla (shallow soil), Port Pirie (soil) and Napperby (rock). The Department of State Development's Mineral Resources Division has operated these stations since instalment in the early 1990s.

As part of the new Adelaide network, three extra stations have been installed, currently at Payneham, Torrens Island and Government House.

These stations will be moved around the metropolitan area approximately every two years.


early triggered earthquake recorder at Government House, Adelaide

Early triggered recorder at Government House

New continuous digital earthquake recorder site at Torrens Island

New continuous digital recorder site at Torrens Island