June 10, 2013 — Central Australia experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake near the famous outback mountains of Uluru, and Mount Conner.
Seen in dozens of movies, documentaries, and even music videos — Uluru protrudes from the central Australian landscape, a few lonely strange mountains amidst a vast open desert.
The local Pitjantjatjara people call the landmark Uluṟu (Aboriginal pronunciation: [uluɻu]). This word has no further particular meaning in the Pitjantjatjara language, although it is used as a local family name by the senior Traditional Owners of Uluru.
On 19 July 1873, the surveyor William Gosse sighted the landmark and named it Ayers Rock in honour of the then Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers. Since then, both names have been used.
In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names that consist of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name. On 15 December 1993, it was renamed “Ayers Rock / Uluru” and became the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory. The order of the dual names was officially reversed to “Uluru / Ayers Rock” on 6 November 2002 following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs.
Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognisable natural landmarks. The sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high, rising 863 m (2,831 ft) above sea level, with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi). Both Uluru and the nearby Kata Tjuta formation have great cultural significance for the Aṉangu people, the traditional inhabitants of the area, who lead walking tours to inform visitors about the local flora and fauna, bush foods and the Aboriginal dreamtime stories of the area.
Kata Tjuta, also called Mount Olga or The Olgas, lies 25 km (16 mi) west of Uluru. Special viewing areas with road access and parking have been constructed to give tourists the best views of both sites at dawn and dusk.
We have seen massive movement around Australia in the recent past.
In the past two years, to the north of Australia, huge movement in New Guinea — multiple 7.0M and 8.0M earthquakes .
To the northeast, large movement in Vanuatu / Santa Cruz Islands, multiple 7.0M, and 8.0M earthquakes.
To the northwest, Indo-Australian plate boundry — multiple 8.0M earthquakes.
All the above examples of large scale movement means that a tremendous amount of pressure has been building on the relatively solid Australian craton (plate). The pressure builds, and we see movement at places were we don’t normally have activity.
Places like Ayers Rock / Uluru remain silent for several years, then the plates begin to show unrest in adjacent areas, and the result is seen today. Moderate shallow earthquake activity at a spot not known for large movement.