Prior to the occurrence of the earthquakes in Meckering, West Australia, in 1971 and 1972, the engineering design of most buildings in Australia completely ignored the possible effects produced by seismic ground motion. From the earliest days of the colonies tremors had been noted, but it was not until 1897, upon recommendations from the British Association of Science Seismological Committee, that a network of seismographs was installed. These seismographs were intended primarily for monitoring worldwide seismic activity, and so were not entirely suitable for detecting local events. Subsequently, seismic activity in Australia has been monitored and recorded in the earthquake data file of the Bureau of Mineral Resources (Denham et al. 1975). Most of the events recorded during this period, from 1897 to 1972, corresponded to earthquakes of relatively low magnitude with only a few quakes of magnitude just over five (M > 5) on the Richter scale.
KeywordsClay Brittle Shrinkage Ductility Silt
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