Surrey hit by fourth earthquake in two weeks | UK News

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Surrey has been hit by its fourth earthquake in two weeks, waking residents in Newdigate in the middle of the night.

The 3.0 magnitude tremor was felt in Dorking, Reigate, and Horley, all within the region of Gatwick Airport.

The British Geological Survey recorded the earthquake at 3.42am.

It’s the fourth quake in the area in two weeks, with two recorded on 14 February and one on 19 February.

The area has been hit several times over the last few months, but this morning’s is one of the stronger tremors.

On 19 February, BGS reported a 2.0 magnitude tremor and on 14 February, recorded 2.4 and 0.2 magnitude.

James King, councillor for South Park and Woodhatch, tweeted: “Was that an earthquake in Reigate just now?”

Another said: “Was that an earthquake that just woke me up in Horley?”

The earthquake was recorded at 3.42am
Image:
The earthquake was recorded at 3.42am

Kate Chapman tweeted: “Famous words to a colleague as I left work yesterday “nothing ever happens in Dorking”… and then EARTHQUAKE!”

Last summer, Surrey was hit by three earthquakes in eight days, with a 3.1 magnitude recorded on 5 July.

The BGS said at the time: “Reports describe ‘was outdoors close to a building and you could hear it creak’, ‘felt large impact then 2-3 seconds of shaking’, ‘felt much bigger than the last two recent quakes’, ‘it was like two huge explosions’, ‘my chairs at the table shook and the lights moved’.”

Within two weeks of those earthquakes, the area had two in the space on 10 hours.

Since the earthquakes, which the BGS says happened between 1 April and 31 August last year, temporary sensors were installed to gather more detail about the movements.

A report from the BGS says: “Our analysis shows that earthquake epicentres are tightly clustered in a 3km by 3km source zone that lies between the villages of Newdigate and Charlwood, and at a distance of approximately 8km from the Brockham oil field.

“Depths calculated using only recordings at distances of up to 10km suggest that the events are most likely to have occurred at depths of approximately 2km.”

The report also looked at whether the earthquakes were linked with nearby hydrocarbon exploration and production, known as fracking, but determined it is “unlikely” the tremors have been induced.

Work had restarted in Brockham field after a two-year hiatus in 2018.

Tremors can be induced if there is fluid injection into land, but BGS found that in Surrey, the first instance of pumping wasn’t until 9 July, by which point some of the earthquakes had already been felt.

There was no fluid injection into that well during 2018, which appears to rule out any causation.

Although seismic activity is rare in the South East, it is not unknown.

Angus Energy, which operates the Brockham site, last reported earlier this month that it was pleased with confirmation of oil at the site and believed it could become a commercially successful project.



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