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As we have been seeing ( awful/dreadful) images of the aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria which has resulted in nearly 50,000 deaths it brings to mind the importance of early warnings for these events. The Mundaring Geophysical Observatory was the place to detect early warning signs.

This facility was the second observatory built in WA. The first was Watheroo, which was built in 1919, however it was 225klms from Perth and was so isolated that staff were hard to find and the living conditions were primitive.

Two new installations were built in Gnangara and Mundaring. Gnangara was responsible for the magnetic recording and Mundaring became responsible for the official seismological and ionospheric stations. It was staffed by four Geophysicists.

As part off the operations a Seismograph vault was also built in the vicinity of the pumping station at the Weir which was inspected daily.

The Seismograph Recorders in Mundaring

Exterior of the Seismic Vault at the Mundaring Weir

Interior of Seismic Vault at Mundaring Weir