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Earthquake hits Lincolnshire

Location of the Market Rasen Earthquake

The British Geological Survey (BGS) recorded a Local Magnitude 5.2 earthquake near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire at 00:56 GMT today.

Geoscientist Online 27 February 2008

The details of the event are as follows (please note that later reports may differ slightly).

  • DATE : 27 February 2008
  • ORIGIN TIME : 00:56 GMT
  • LAT/LONG : 53.42° North / 0.35° West
  • GRID REF : 509.4 kmE / 392.7 kmN
  • DEPTH : 5.0 km
  • MAGNITUDE : 5.2 (ML)
  • LOCALITY : Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

The epicentre was approximately 8km east of Market Rasen and early reports suggest that the earthquake has been felt widely across England, with reports of damage to chimneys in the epicentral area. Earthquakes of this size occur in the mainland UK roughly every 30 years, although are more common in offshore areas. This is the largest earthquake in the UK since the magnitude 5.4 ML Lleyn Peninsula earthquake in 1984, which was widely felt across England and Wales.

Seismologist Dr Brian Baptie of the British Geological Survey said: “This is a significant earthquake for the UK and will have been widely felt across England and Wales”.

The BGS records approximately 200 earthquakes in the UK each year on its monitoring stations. Approximately 25 earthquakes in the UK are felt by people each year. The most recent widely-felt quake was offshore Folkestone in 2007.  BGS later recorded an M 1.8 aftershock at about 0400 GMT.

The main 10-second quake was the biggest recorded since an M5.4 event hit North Wales in 1984.

Previously in the UK…

  • April 2007 - Folkestone, Kent (magnitude 4.3)
  • December 2006 - Dumfries and Galloway (3.5)
  • September 2002 - Dudley, West Midlands (5.0)
  • October 2001 - Melton Mowbray (4.1)
  • September 2000 - Warwick (4.2)
  • April 1990 - Bishop's Castle, Shropshire (5.1)
  • July 1984 - Nefyn, north Wales (5.4)
  • June 1931 - in North Sea near Great Yarmouth (6.1)

Dr Baptie told reporters: "The largest earthquake that we know about that has struck the UK was about 100km off the east coast of England on the Dogger Bank and it had a magnitude of 6.1. So we can get these kind of moderate to significant earthquakes of this size but they're relatively rare."

More detail from the BGS

Seismograph traces of the earthquake