Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Shaking the Yorkshire coast

Pamela was most put out when she realised that we lived in an earthquake zone. The first quake we experienced here made a sound like a truck was hitting the building and we could sense the movement. Subsequent quakes have been less dramatic.

Living on the Wirral as we did, earthquakes were unheard of. However, Britain is not free from the odd tremor.

On Tuesday a 3.8 magnitude quake struck the North Sea 150 miles east of Scarborough. And in 2011, a 3.6-magnitude quake struck North Yorkshire around five miles north west of Ripon. Tremors were felt in the towns of Bingley and Skipton, near Leeds, where people reported doors, windows and heavy furniture rattling.

The most damaging UK earthquake recorded  in Britain was in the Colchester area in 1884. Around 1,200 buildings needed repairs after the shaking, which collapsed chimneys and cracked walls.

Most earthquakes occur on the eastern side of the British mainland, most often in the North Sea.

The driving forces for earthquake activity in the UK are unclear but include compression caused by the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and uplift resulting from the melting of the ice sheets that covered many parts of Britain thousands of years ago.

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