Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence Geotechnical Science and Engineering

Mr Beau Whitney

Supervisors

  • Research Fellow James Hengesh
  • Senior Lecturer Karl-Heinz Wyrwoll
  • Professor David White

Research Interests

  • Seismic hazards
  • Paleoseismology
  • Marine geohazards

Research Topic

Neotectonic deformation in the Stable Continental Region of Western Australia: Paleoseismology of the Mt. Narryer fault zone

Research Abstract

My research documents the location and style of neotectonic deformation within the Mt. Narryer fault zone (MNfz), a previously unstudied fault zone within the Stable Continental Region of Western Australia. The MNfz is near the southern margin of what appears to be a larger zone of neotectonic deformation that extends to the northwest through the Cape Range and offshore on the northwest shelf. The magnitude and frequency of earthquakes we observe in the paleoseismic record of the MNfz can be used to characterize similar geomorphic features in the offshore portion of the system. These data have direct implications for the burgeoning oil and gas industry in terms of seismic hazards and seismic source characterization. If we recognize this zone of neotectonism behaving as a system, it will be a significant leap forward in terms of understanding SCRs and will influence how future studies of faults within SCRs are undertaken.