The epicentre of the quake, felt at 12.05pm (AEST) today, was at Lake Eucumbene, about 30 kilometres from Cooma and 25 kilometres from Jindabyne.

Its magnitude of 2.8 on the Richter scale was half the intensity of the 1989 Newcastle earthquake, which killed 13 people.

Australian Seismological Centre director Kevin McCue said residents living about five kilometres from the Lake Eucumbene dam reported feeling tremors.

Seismological equipment in Canberra, Queanbeyan and Bombala detected the quake.

"What we are trying to do in determining smaller quakes is find out what faults are active," Mr McCue said.

Mr McCue said a bigger quake could cause structural damage to a dam wall in the area.

"It's not if but when," he said.

"Rivers flow along faults and dams are built on rivers."

Earthquakes are a regular occurrence at Lake Eucumbene, he added.

Earthquakes happen more often than elections in Canberra.

The national capital was last shaken by a small quake in the early hours of Thursday.

Kevin McCue, director of the Australian Seismological Centre, at the time said that quake measured 2.5 on the Richter scale and hit about 2.15am (AEST).

This would only have been felt by people who were up and about at that hour, he said.

The epicentre of the quake was near a fault line near Lake George, where there is a large wind farm. Mr McCue said the wind turbines "may have given a little shudder".

A 5.2 magnitude quake hit the area in 1959.

No property was damaged in the earthquake today.