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Three large intraplate earthquakes near Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, on 22 January 1988

Following a yearlong series of foreshocks, extensive surface faulting accompanied an extraordinary sequence of earthquakes in the Precambrian shield of central Australia on 22 January 1988. The mainshock sequence included earthquakes of magnitude Ms 6.3, 6.4, and 6.7. Hundreds of aftershocks were recorded in the epicentral area in the first few days after the mainshocks, and the sequence continued into 1991 ; the largest aftershock occurred nearly 9 hours after the third large mainshock. The three largest earthquakes were felt over more than one-quarter of the land surface of Australia, and in high-rise buildings up to 2000 km from the epicentre. A buried natural-gas pipeline was shortened by 1 m at the surface rupture, and buildings in the town of Tennant Creek, 30 km to the north-northeast, sustained minor damage. Focal mechanism solutions indicate thrusting for the first and third large earthquakes, and a combination of thrust and strike-slip motion for the second. Ground deformation and offsets along roads, fences, and the pipeline also indicate mainly thrust-faulting. The mean azimuth of the P-axes for the first three focal mechanisms is N31°E, in close agreement with the maximum principal stress direction determined from in-situ stress measurements made in a nearby gold mine.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Three large intraplate earthquakes near Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, on 22 January 1988
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Data Status inactive
Update Frequency unknown
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/dataset/c65238f5-c78c-4516-bde8-d023ac6e2bfd
Date Published 2017-06-25
Date Updated 2017-06-25
Contact Point
Geoscience Australia
Geospatial Coverage {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[133.5, -20.0], [135.0, -20.0], [135.0, -19.0], [133.5, -19.0], [133.5, -20.0]]]}
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal Geoscience Australia CSW Harvester
Publisher/Agency Geoscience Australia
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