Queensland's Citizen Science Hub

Curriculum Resources

Geological scientist Mike Turnbull B.App.Sc. QUT, M.App.Sc. CQU has made available to QSN a series of annual reports that he has compiled of the earthquakes, major and minor, in Queensland. This series commenced while he was engaged at Central Queensland University, but after separation he became a “citizen seismologist”. He is a member of the Australian Earthquake Engineering Society and a foundation member of the Seismological Association of Australian.

He explains:

“The four Queensland regions continuing to be seismically active are the Mt Perry area, the Wide Bay area, the Whitsunday Passage area, and the offshore Townsville area. The Eidsvold area is a very active area, producing up to two local events per week. The far south-west is quiet at this time but does throw up some moderate events once or twice each year; and it is currently quiet in the south-east corner.”

“Here is a map of the 25 earthquakes I have detected and located in Queensland (two just over the borders) from 1 Jan 2023 to 21 May 2023. They range in magnitude from ML 0.8 to ML 3.2 (the one near Lady Musgrave Island)”.

Annual reports

2011    2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2016 revised

2017    2018   2019    2020    2021    2022    2023


The Central Queensland Seismology Research Group (CQSRG) was established in 2002, under the auspices of the Faculty of Informatics and Communication of Central Queensland University (CQU), with Michael Turnbull (Lecturer, and later Adjunct Research Fellow) and Kevin McCue (Visiting Professor, and later Adjunct Professor) as the designated researchers. This affiliation with CQU continued until February 2013, when, due to a divergence in academic focus of CQU and CQSRG, the researchers allowed their adjunct appointments to lapse.

From February 2013-December 2016, CQSRG operated independently of CQU, with the same two people conducting the research. In mid-2016 Dr Andrew Hammond, Senior Lecturer in Geology at CQU, joined CQSRG as a research collaborator. Mike Turnbull’s and Kevin McCue’s adjunct academic appointments with CQU were re-established in October 2016 and allowed to lapse at the end of 2022, at which time CQSRG ceased operations.

Mike Turnbull has now fully retired but maintains an ongoing interest in monitoring for earthquakes in Queensland on a personal basis.

Further reading

See also https://scienceqld.org/2022/03/18/uq_seismology/  and https://scienceqld.org/all-resources/qld-seismology/.

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia’s program collaboration taking the social sciences into schools is now live.

The project, the first under a new partnership with the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), represents a collaboration between MoAD’s education experts and the Academy’s communication team. Working together, and using the Academy’s Seriously Social podcast and videos as the basis of evidence-based content, the Academy has developed its first group of engaging, professionally-produced resources for Australian secondary schools to teach the social sciences.

Each term the Academy intends to launch four themed modules for secondary school teachers to mix and match in class. Each themed module contains:

·         A professionally produced podcast episode (20-25 mins)

·         An engaging video (2-4 mins)

·         A provocation worksheet for students to use – this can be used with either resource.

Term 2 school resource topics include forecasting (features Fellow Rob Hyndman); how to spot an expert (features Fellow Ken Henry); memory (features Fellow Amanda Barnier) and monarchies (features Fellow Dennis Altman).

All educational resources are housed on the new “Learn” page of the Seriously Social website. Please check them out and share them widely with your secondary school networks.

If you have contacts for networks of teachers online or offline, please let the Academy’s communication team know – it wishes to build this audience. Email bonnie.johnson@socialsciences.org.au).

A website about some of the local birds of South-East Queensland  www.ourlocalbirds.com lets us look into some of their amazing lives via a unique and exciting range of video and still images as well as text and audio. The website has two principal sections: Learning about birds and Teaching about birds and was created by the Bird Education Group of Birds Queensland and Birdlife Southern Queensland. Continue reading

The Queensland Science Network is pleased to present otherwise not-easily-accessible reports of seismological activity.

Seismology database

There are three files.

An introduction to the database.

The database of Queensland seismic events (6MB). Note: the database has been converted to pdf format in order to stabilise it. People such as educators who wish to extract some data from it and would prefer a Word document or Excel spreadsheet should contact the QSN Editor Mr Col Lynam on newsletter AT scienceqld.org. The Word document is 1.5MB.

List of seismographic stations and inventory of archive boxes dispatched to the State Archives.

The official Queensland Government site https://www.data.qld.gov.au/organization/environment-and-science has very sparse reference to these subjects.

The University of Queensland Seismograph Stations

The UQSS were also known as QUAKES, ESSCC and Geocomp at various times. The University shut down the ESSC server in the late 2010s when the Centre was renamed (Geocomp). The QUAKES server was always separate from the ESSC server and run on its own hardware.

Adequacy of government seismographic data collection

Geoscience Australia (GA) has a mandate to monitor for and report any earthquake event of magnitude 3.5 or greater in the immediate Australian jurisdiction. They do not actively monitor for or report on lesser events unless there is a public interest or if they declare an interest. For example, in the case of the Whitsunday earthquakes and aftershock sequence, non-government seismologists have detected and (for suitable events) located almost 1600 events ranging down to subzero magnitudes. GA has published data on a minor fraction of that number for the same area and the range of their published events does not extend less than magnitude 2. This situation is not limited to the Whitsunday area. It is demonstrable that GA is detecting and publishing data for only very small proportion of earthquake events in Queensland. This is more a reflection on the poor relationships between Australian governments and the Australian scientific community than on the scientists themselves.

The publicly funded Queensland earthquake monitoring network and reporting system is woefully inadequate to cater for the real need. The Queensland Government really has no idea where and when the vast majority of earthquake events are occurring within their jurisdiction. They are seeing only the tiny tip of the pyramid that is poking through the floor of ignorance.

Non-government seismologists have argued that seismological research would be of general benefit to the Queensland Government, Queensland industry and commerce and Queensland society in general. Knowledge of where and when small earthquake events occur is an indicator of where future larger and potentially damaging events will occur.

For further information, search QSN for “earthquakes” or “seismology”.

The Australian Greenhouse Calculator helps explore how a person’s lifestyle contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. We all enjoy the benefits of modern technology such as heating and lighting, but we can take actions to reduce production of greenhouse gases and help combat climate change.

Use the AGC to explore how to live more sustainably. By changing behaviour and selecting energy-efficient options, people can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that do not compromise comfort and quality of life.

The calculator website includes “Teacher ideas” linked to the Australian curriculum.

We thank Alan Pears AM, primary developer of the calculator’s algorithm, for drawing this to QSN’s attention.


A downloadable Data Test – Oysters based on experiments aimed at restoring shellfish reefs has been prepared for use in classes in biology and marine science under Queensland’s 2019 senior secondary syllabus. The module has been prepared by Mr Michael Howe, Maths/Science/Marine Teacher at Bribie Island State High School. The original data sets were included in a scientific paper by Royal Society of Queensland Member and marine scientist Dr Ben Diggles entitled “Annual pattern of settlement of Sydney Rock oyster spat in Pumicestone Passage“ . Supplementary data and a spreadsheet with spatfall field data referred to in the article and charts with data on Leaf oysters and a Time series are also available.

Subsequently, in September 2019,  Dr Diggles provided an Invertebrate Report with the following explanation:

“I attach a copy of the 9-month invertebrate report. Not too much happening by way of growth or recruitment of shellfish on the reefs in the middle of winter, except for some honeycomb oyster settlement. But the spat settlement data comparing the cage reef vs the patch reef from the 2017 deployment are telling, as they show that anchor damage to the patch reefs lowers their profile and reduces their effectiveness for attracting spat.

Healthy Land and Water have commissioned some underwater drone footage of the trial reefs which is available at https://youtu.be/N1ZKITKE7SA. Again, note the anchor damage to the smaller patch reef deployed in 2017. Fortunately the cages, the biodegradable BESE reefs and the larger patch reefs deployed in 2018, while still vulnerable to anchor damage, are proving to be more robust, the latter probably due to their larger size and the larger besser brick fence modules surrounding them.”

For a background instructional video on why all this work is being done in Australia, refer to the video at  https://youtu.be/Dn8dZrWK7fM, available at the website https://www.shellfishrestoration.org.au/ . This is the national website allied with the local Moreton Bay site http://restorepumicestonepassage.org/ .