Friday 10 August 2012

Earthquake in Nottinghamshire.

On Thursday 9 August 2012, slightly after 8.50 pm British Summertime (slightly after 9.50 pm GMT) the British Geological Survey recorded an Earthquake beneath the Nottinghamshire village of Edwinstowe, roughly 10 km northeast of Mansfield. The quake was recorded as measuring 1.4 on the Richter Scale and occurring at a depth of 1 km; this is to small to have caused any significant damage, but shallow enough that it may have been felt, though quakes this small are often not recognized for what they are.

The location of the 9 August 2012. BGS.

This is the second quake to hit Edwinstowe this summer, and the latest in a series of minor quakes to hit north Nottinghamshire and neighboring areas of Yorkshire, suggesting that some tectonic stresses may be being worked out there.

The precise causes of quakes in the UK are often hard to determine, as the country is not close to any active tectonic margins but subject to stresses from a number of different sources, with most tremors probably being caused by a combination of these. Britain, along with the rest of Europe, is being pushed to the east by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean, and to the north by the movement of Africa from the south. There are also lesser spreading centers beneath the North Sea, the Rhine Valley and the Bay of Biscay, which all exert tectonic stress upon rocks in the UK. Finally there is glacial rebound; up until about 10 000 years ago much of the north of the UK was covered by hundreds of meters of ice. This pushed the rocks of the British Lithosphere down into the underlying mantle, and now this ice is gone these rocks are slowly rebounding, producing a source of minor Earthquakes.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help scientists to better understand these events, and the geology that causes them. If you felt this quake, or were near the event but didn't (which is also useful data), then you can report it to the BGS here.

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