Thursday 10 January 2013

Earthquake off the coast of Holland.

On Saturday 5 January 2013, at 11.15 pm GMT, the British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 2.7 Earthquake at a depth of 5 km, roughly 20 km off the coast of Den Helder, Holland. This is too small and too far offshore to present a risk of damage or injuries, and may not have been noticed at all.

The location of the 5 January Earthquake. Google Maps.

The Netherlands is not a country always associated with Earthquakes, but it is bounded to the south by the Lower Rhine Graben, an area of tectonic expansion beneath the Rhine Valley, and to the north by the North Sea Central Graben, the Terschelling Graben and The Horn Graben, two similar areas of expansion beneath the North Sea. These areas do not generate new ocean floor or expand on the same scale as the Mid Atlantic Ridge or similar structures, but they do exert pressure on the rocks around the North Sea Basin, and can lead to Earthquakes in any of the countries surrounding the Basin.

Map showing the location of the North Sea Central and Terschelling Grabens. Numbered locations are oil rigs. Abbink et al. (2001).

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