The impact of earthquakes on Seqwater infrastructure in and around the Gold Coast will be monitored through a new seismic station at Hinze Dam.

The new station at Hinze, which was installed last week, is the eighth in Seqwater’s seismic network.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said the network was responsible for monitoring earthquakes in the South East Queensland region to determine potential effects on infrastructure.

“While many people wouldn’t realise it, the South East Queensland region experiences on average, one to two earthquakes a month,” Mr Dennis said.

“Most quakes measure only 2 or less on the magnitude scale, which means they are too small for us to notice.

“The largest earthquake in recent years, measuring 2.7 on the magnitude scale, occurred in June 2011 about five kilometres from the Somerset dam wall.”

An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 4 occurred in Gatton in 1988, while Mt Glorious was the location of a 4.4 magnitude earthquake in 1960.

Mr Dennis said the new seismic station at Hinze Dam would be equipped with a seismometer (which measures ground vibrations), as well as solar panels and a 3G modem.

“Information from the seismometer is sent to a digitiser which converts the vibrations into digital data which is monitored by our seismic officer and Geoscience Australia,” he said.

“When an event is recorded, this information is passed on to our engineers so they can undertake investigations of all infrastructure which may have been impacted.

“The final piece of equipment contained within the station is a strong motion accelerometer which measures ground acceleration. If a large earthquake were to occur close to the Hinze Dam wall, this instrument would provide us with a recording of the larger ground motions that are potentially damaging during an earthquake.”

Mr Dennis said the new station would help ensure better coverage of the southern end of Seqwater’s region, including assets such as Hinze Dam, Little Nerang Dam and Wyaralong Dam.

“Seqwater has operated a seismic network for 20 years. Our other seismic stations are located at Maroon Dam, Wivenhoe Dam, Somerset Dam, North Pine Dam, O’Brien’s Hill in South Ripley, Regents Park which is west of Esk and Paradise Creek, located south of Gatton.”

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