One of the largest earthquakes since a “swarm” of tremors began in the area last year has been felt in Surrey and parts of Sussex. The tremor was felt at 03:42 GMT and measured 3.1, making it the biggest earthquake of the current “swarm.”
The quake occurred about 2km below the surface near Newdigate, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.
One resident of Redhill said his house was shaking for between four and five seconds.
Gatwick Airport confirmed tremors had been felt overnight in the terminals, but a spokesman said operations had not been affected.
Dr Stephen Hicks, a seismologist from Imperial College London, tweeted: “Looks like another strongly felt earthquake as part of the Surrey seismic swarm this morning. The depth and location looks like it’s the same as all the other earthquakes we’ve had in the region since April last year. I’ve had lots of reports, so it seems like it was felt by a lot of people.“
He said the quake was very shallow, meaning many people had felt it “quite strongly.”
People on social media suggested the tremor was felt in Crawley, West Sussex, as well as Leigh in Surrey.
The quake is the fourth to have been felt in the area in the last two weeks, with a smaller tremor felt on Valentine’s Day and two more on 19 February.
Many have questioned whether the spate of tremors had been caused by recent drilling for oil in the area.
A resident in Surrey comments that she has lived in the area for 47 years and that she had never experienced an earthquake before fracking exploration began:
And Surrey isn’t the only area of the UK where fracking induced earthquakes are causing serious concern. In Blackpool the obvious correlation between fracking and earthquakes has resulted in the operations being shutdown, albeit temporarily.
But Dr Hicks answered to this question: “There’s nothing in the data to show that there was any plausible explanation why these earthquakes could have been induced or caused by drilling activities. We’re keeping an open mind, based on what new data becomes available.“
He said: “It is most likely that these earthquakes are natural – due to small tectonic stresses occurring on old geological faults caused by stresses from our nearest plate boundaries in the Mid-Atlantic and Mediterranean.”
Surrey’s earthquake swarm
- Three tremors were felt on 1 April 2018. The first had a magnitude of 2.7, a second within minutes came in at 1.8 and the third, an hour later, measured 1.7
- The fourth quake on 28 April measured 1.5
- The fifth on 27 June measured 2.6
- A sixth tremor on 29 June registered 2.4
- The previous biggest quake, on 5 July, measured 3.0
- A 1.7 tremor near Russ Hill was also described as a “weak thud”
- The earth moved again on Valentine’s Day when a tremor was measured at 2.4
- Two more earthquakes were recorded on 19 February.
Politicians tried to hide the frack quake problems in Oklahoma first… Then they had to admit they were man-made. Same case in the UK, now?