MECKERING EARTHQUAKE INFORMATION


At 10.59a.m. on the 14th October 1968, the small town of Meckering, about 130 km east of Perth, was destroyed by an earthquake. The magnitude of the Meckering earthquake was 6.9 on the Richter Scale making it one of the largest recorded in the seismic history of Australia.

The earthquake lasted 45 seconds and was felt over an area of 700kms in radius and caused damage in many towns. The quake focus was 7km deep and had the force equivalent of 10 Hiroshima type atomic bombs. The largest land displacement measured a westward heave of 2.44m, a southerly slip of 1.5m and vertical lift of 1.96m. The principal fault scarp of the Meckering earthquake was originally 37 km long, aligned approx N-S, of which the Great Eastern Highway was bisected 4.4km West of Meckering township.

Trenching across the scarp took place in 1990, and it was concluded that the Meckering earthquake was the result of the reactivation of an old fault line, possibly tens of thousands years old. Unfortunately today aprroximately only 1.5km of the acual fault scarp remains which is located 12 km South/West of Meckering. Over the years since the quake occured the scarp has been bulldozed to continue wheat farming of the region and to remove the scarp as a livestock hazard.

The Meckering Earthquake was located in a well-documented zone of seismic activity which is the most active region of Australia. This region is centred about 150 kilometres east of Perth and is known as the South-West Seismic Zone (SWSZ) and measures roughly 300 kilometres by 500 kilometres. According to Geoscience Australia (AGSO), more than 12,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the area since September 2001 with most of these events being aftershocks of larger events.

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External Web Links
Meckering Earthquake Of October 1968
Earthquakes Western Australia
Meckering Fault Scarp
Cunderdin Police Station