Spike in earthquakes near Lake Muir

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
VideoThe 5.6 magnitude earthquake at Lake Muir was felt more than 300 kilometers away in Perth.

The ground around Lake Muir continues to shake, with Geoscience Australia recording 80 minor tremors over the weekend.

Earthquake measuring stations recorded 80 tremors between 0.1 and 2.1 on the Richter scale from Friday to Sunday.

They densely dotted the area 10km north-east of Lake Muir, about 50km north of Walpole.

The underground activity came two weeks after WA’s biggest earthquake in 20 years hit the region, shaking homes across the southwest and felt as far north as Perth.

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Geoscience Australia seismologist Dan Jaksa, speaking when 18 earthquakes had been recorded, said the recent clustering of earthquakes around Lake Muir was unusual.

“It’s certainly new for this area, this part of WA has never really been that active,” he said.

Mr Jaksa said the tremors were the result of tectonic collisions thousands of kilometres from Albany.

“We’re a quick moving continent relative to the rest of the world,” he said.

“We’re colliding with the fast moving continent, the Pacific plate to the north, and to the east where New Zealand meets the Pacific.

“That immense force across the country creates faults that build up stress over time and every now and then the pressure has to be released.”

He compared the events to a car crash.

“In a head-on collision with a car, the front of the car crumples up and in this analogy the crust is the mountain ranges (of Papua New Guinea),” he said.

“You might even get cracks in the windscreen, those cracks are transferred stress from the front through the rest of the car – and the windscreen is the rest of Australia.”

Another seismologist previously said the tremors could continue for weeks.

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