Dataset Number911
Dataset TitleEarthquakes
CustodianData Authority: Department for Energy and Mining
Data Provider: Department of Primary Industries and Regions


DescriptionDescribes the location (calculated epicentre) and characteristics of earthquakes recorded in South Australia since European settlement in 1836. This dataset is the most complete collection of South Australian earthquake data available, incorporating data from the seismograph recording network in South Australia over the whole time that it has been operating, drawing also on other recording sources for earlier events, and on isoseismal maps compiled by a large number of authors. Recorded blasts are currently not included. Epicentres in the far north and west of the state and interstate may be very inaccurate, and may be more accurately recorded in other catalogues. Where insufficient information exists to estimate an epicentre, the earthquake is not included. These data may be viewed, interrogated and downloaded from DSD's SARIG application at
UsageMonitoring and reporting on seismic activity.

Data Quality

LineageCalculations from instrumental recordings (direct from recorders) - accuracy is dependent on instrument timing and number of recorders. Research work - accuracy dependent on the detail in newspaper reports (usually about 1:1M) post 1964 - mostly from calculations based on readings from local and interstate recorders 1909 - 1963 - from calculations based on readings from broad Australian recorder network and newspaper and research reports pre 1909 - from newspaper and research reports (isoseismal maps)
CompletenessFinal version usually computed 1 to 2 months behind actual date. Preliminary versions are usually listed, then replaced by final version.
Positional AccuracyDependent on location of recorders, accuracy of recorders, magnitude of event.

Geographic Extent

Extent NameSouth Australia
Min Easting or Longitude129
Min Northing or Latitude-38.25
Max Easting or Longitude141
Max Northing or Latitude-26

Dataset Status

Initially Acquired1840
Last Updated01-04-2017
Update FrequencyNot Planned
Maintenance MethodPIRSA SIS have an automated process to geocode a spreadsheet containing the earthquake information. As of 23-08-2017, PIRSA will no longer be updating this data on behalf of DPC-MER.
LicenseingCC BY (Attribution)


TableNameField AliasData TypeDescription
Primary TableDATED DateDate the earthquake occurred. The date of the first listed earthquake is 31 March 1840.
Primary TableTIME CharacterEstimated time of the event origin. Based on 24-hour clock Universal time. Stored as an integer e.g. 08:15 AM is recorded as 815, 12:20 AM is recorded as 20, 23:30 PM is recorded at 2330 etc.
Primary TableSECONDS NumberSeconds component of the estimated time of the event origin. If SECONDS is negative it indicates that the event occurred in preceding minute.
Primary TableLONGITUDE NumberLongitude of the event epicentre.
Primary TableLATITUDE NumberLatitude of the event epicentre.
Primary TableDEPTH NumberEstimated depth (in kilometres below the earth's surface) of the focus of the event epicentre.
Primary TablePLACE CharacterReference to the nearest significant locality (town, district, mountain etc). It is used to assist the general public to identify the approximate location of the event epicentre within SA.
Primary TableMAGNITUDE NumberCalculated magnitude of the event based on the Richter scale or equivalent.
Primary TableINTENSITY short integerMaximum reported intensity based on the modified Mercalli scale.
Primary TableACCURACY CharacterCode representing the accuracy of the location (X, Y and depth). Codes A-F also denote that these events were recorded by instruments. Codes I-K denote historical records. A = within 2 km in any dimension using a local model B = within 2 km in any dimension using a regional model C = within 4 km in X and Y or 5 km in depth D = within 10 km in X and Y E = within 50 km F = earthquake did occur but accuracy is considered poor or unknown I = located from a good isoseismal map K = located from a poor isoseismal map
Primary TableARRIVALS NumberThe number of instrument wave arrivals used to calculate the event epicentre location.
Primary TableRESIDUAL Long IntegerStandard deviation of the difference between the calculated and measured arrival times. This gives a partial indication of location accuracy.
Primary TableSTATIONS NumberNumber of individual stations used to calculate the event epicentre location.
Primary TableAGE NumberNumber of elapsed months since the date of the event.
Primary TableSYMSIZE NumberRecommended size (in centimetres) for a map symbol that portrays the relative magnitude of the event that is suitable for output at scales of between 1:1 million and 1:2 million.

Contact Information

OrganisationDepartment for Energy and Mining
Postal Address