Abstract

We have examined the largest earthquakes in the Australian continent over the past 20 years by modeling their teleseismic long-period P and SH and short-period P waveforms. Eight earthquakes beneath the continent show thrust faulting at depths shallower than 10 km. Three (1, 2, 4 below) produced surface faulting and their waveforms indicate centroid depths of 3 km or less. The P-axes in the southwestern half of the continent have easterly trends. Preliminary examination of the 3 large earthquakes near Tennant Creek on 22 January, 1988, (7–9) indicate thrusting at less than 10 km depth, but with N-trending P-axes. The largest event (9), at 12:06 GMT, had a seismic moment of roughly 1019 Nm, which makes it comparable in size to the 1968 Meckering event (1). One event (6) beneath the continental margin indicates strike-slip at 26 km depth.

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