On Saturday 12 January 2013, slightly before 4.00 am, GMT, the British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 1.3 Earthquake 1 km beneath northern Nottinghamshire, England, roughly 2 km southwest of the village of Ollerton, or 10 km northeast of the town of Mansfield. This is to small a quake to have caused any damage, but it was felt in the villages of Ollerton and Walesby.
The location of the 12 January 2013 Earthquake. Google Maps.
The UK is not close to any active plate margin, and it is seldom possible to point to a single cause for any Earthquake there. Rather most quakes are the result of a combination of several different tectonic pressures interacting. Britain, along with the rest of Eurasia, 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. There are also lesser areas of expansion beneath the North Sea, the Rhine Valley and the Bay of Biscay, all of which exert pressure on British rocks. Finally there is glacial rebound; much of the north of Britain was covered by a thick layer of glacial ice until about 10 000 years ago. This pushed the rocks of the British lithosphere down into the underlying mantle. This ice is now gone, and the rocks of the lithosphere are now springing back into position (at geological speeds) causing the occasional Earthquake in the process.
Witness accounts can help geologists to understand Earthquakes and the geological structures that lead to 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 Earthquake in Leicestershire, Earthquake in Nottinghamshire, Earthquake in Nottinghamshire, Earthquake near Worksop in northern Nottinghamshire and Earthquakes on Sciency Thoughts YouTube.
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