Thursday, 11 April 2013

Earthquake in Herefordshire.

On Wednesday 10 April 2013 slightly before 1.00 pm British Summertime (slightly before 2.00 pm GMT) the British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 1.0 Earthquake at a depth of 2 km, roughly 5 km northeast of Leominster in Herefordshire. This is a small Earthquake, and is highly unlikely to have caused any damage or injuries; it is quite possible that nobody felt it at all.

The location of the 10 April Earthquake. Google Maps.

The cause of individual Earthquakes in the UK is hard to determine, with most probably being the result of more than one source of tectonic stress. Britain is being pushed to the north by the impact of Africa into Europe from the south and to the east by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean. There are also lesser areas of spreading beneath the North Sea, Rhine Valley and Bay of Biscay, all of which exert some stress on British rocks. Finally there is glacial rebound; until about 10 000 years ago much of the north of the UK was covered by a thick layer of glacial ice. This pushed the rocks of the British lithosphere down into the underlying mantle. This ice is now gone, and the rocks are slowly springing back into their original position, causing the occasional Earthquake on the process.

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

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