Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Magnitude 1.9 Earthquake in North Yorkshire, England.

The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 1.9 Earthquake at a depth of 2 km near the village of Redmire in North Yorkshire, slightly after 11.00 am GMT on Monday 5 January 2015. There is no danger of any damage or casualties from an event of this size, though it may have been felt locally.

The approximate location of the 5 January 2015 North Yorkshire Earthquake. Google Maps.
Earthquakes become more common as you travel north and west in Great Britain, with the west coast of Scotland being the most quake-prone part of the island and the northwest of England being more prone  to quakes than the rest of most of England and Wales. 

The precise cause of Earthquakes in the UK can be hard to determine; the country is not close to any obvious single cause of such activity such as a plate margin, but is subject to tectonic pressures from several different sources, with most quakes probably being the result of the interplay between these forces.
Britain is being pushed to the east by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean and to the north by the impact of Africa into Europe from the south. It is also affected by lesser areas of tectonic spreading beneath the North Sea, Rhine Valley and Bay of Biscay. Finally the country is subject to glacial rebound; until about 10 000 years ago much of the north of the country was covered by a thick layer of glacial ice (this is believed to have been thickest on the west coast of Scotland), pushing the rocks of the British lithosphere down into the underlying mantle. This ice is now gone, and the rocks are springing (slowly) back into their original position, causing the occasional Earthquake in the process.

 
(Top) Simplified diagram showing principle of glacial rebound. Wikipedia. (Bottom) Map showing the rate of glacial rebound in various parts of the UK. Note that some parts of England and Wales show negative values, these areas are being pushed down slightly by uplift in Scotland, as the entire landmass is quite rigid and acts a bit like a see-saw. Climate North East.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. If you felt this quake, or were in the area but did not (which is also useful information) then you can report it to the British Geological Survey here.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/magnitude-20-earthquake-in-lake.htmlMagnitude 2.0 Earthquake in the Lake District, England.                                          The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 2.0 Earthquake at a depth of 13 km at the southern end of...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/magnitude-19-earthquake-in-north.htmlMagnitude 1.9 Earthquake in North Yorkshire.                                                     The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 1.9 Earthquake at a depth of 1 km in southern North Yorkshire slightly after 11.30 pm British Summertime...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/giant-sinkhole-opens-up-in-county-durham.htmlGiant sinkhole opens up in County Durham. A sinkhole was discovered on Thursday 21 August 2014 at Cowshill in the Weardale District of County Durham, northeast England. At the time the hole was about 5 meters across, but it has been growing ever since, and by Monday 25 August had reached about 35 meters...
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