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Gatwick Airport is hit by EARTHQUAKE

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Gatwick Airport is hit by EARTHQUAKE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:45 pm

Tremors strike Surrey and Sussex – this is SEVENTH quake in three months

    Passengers at Gatwick Airport reported feeling the ground moving under them
    British Geological Survey said a 3.0 magnitude quake struck Surrey and Sussex
    Witnesses who felt the tremours after being urged to shared their experiences
An earthquake struck Gatwick Airport and parts of southern England causing homes and offices to shake, as witnesses described hearing 'two huge explosions'.

Passengers at Gatwick reported the ground shifting beneath them during the UK's seventh earthquake in just three months.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said the 3.0-magnitude quake struck Surrey and Sussex area today at 10.53am.

Witnesses who felt the tremours are being urged to get in touch with the BGS while the Seismology Team establishes how far the quake reached.

Campaigners have raised concerns the earthquake was triggered by alleged fracking tests in the nearby area, however BGS said it is as yet unable to determine the cause.

Energy investment firm UK Gas and Oil (UKOG) announced last Wednesday that all of the equipment needed to start flow-testing was now ready at a fracking site in Horse Hill, Horley, which is around three miles from where the earthquake was registered.

The company said this afternoon that its work at the site does not involve subsurface drilling and so has little to no seismic impact.

Stephen Sanderson of UKOG said: 'There has been no subsurface activity at Horse Hill since March 2016.

'We are currently preparing to conduct a flow test using a crane. We should stress that the work we are planning has the same seismic impact as any type of construction work requiring the use of such a crane.'

The British Geological Survey has not been able to conclusively determine the cause, however, it believes flow-testing at a future fracking site is 'unlikely' to have been the trigger.

In a statement, it ruled: 'While it is well-known that hydrocarbon exploration and production can result in man-made or 'induced' earthquakes, such events usually result from either long-term hydrocarbon extraction, or the injection of fluids (e.g. hydraulic fracturing) during production.

'It seems unlikely that flow testing, even if it had taken place, would result in induced seismicity. Although there have been no other instrumentally recorded events in the region in the last 50 years, there is evidence for historical earthquakes in the last 500 years, therefore a natural origin for these earthquakes can't be ruled out at this stage.'

Fracking works by injecting large volumes of water into the rocks surrounding a natural gas deposit or hydrothermal well.

As the pressure of water builds, it fractures the rocks, creating dozens of cracks through which gas and heat can escape to the surface.

The process can trigger Earthquakes by introducing water to faultlines, which lubricates the rocks and makes them more likely to slip – releasing the same energy as a naturally-occurring quake.

UKOG announced last week it had all of the equipment needed to begin flow-testing at Horse Hill, though it did not confirm whether testing had begun.

It said that 'planned flow testing operations have commenced' at the site in a statement published June 27.

'All key equipment necessary to carry out a 150-day long-term extended flow test campaign at HH-1 is now on site,' a spokesperson said.

The Oil and Gas Authority previously said it is aware Ukog made an announcement about flow testing but that it had not taken place at the time of a quake on June 29.

No fracking has taken place in the area, an authority spokeswoman said.

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East, called for an investigation into the recent seismic activity and drilling operations in the region.

He said: 'Details may be scant at the moment, but the seismic activity in an area where unconventional fossil fuel drilling and testing is active is clearly extremely concerning. It is also unprecedented in the Weald in the last half a century.

'The links between earthquakes and the unconventional onshore oil and gas drilling industry are well established.'

'I wholeheartedly support the calls for the British Geological Survey to further investigate this activity and would add that it is only sensible to put a moratorium on any oil and gas activity in the geological region until the results of the investigation are clear.

'The case for employing the precautionary principle couldn't be any clearer.'

Residents took to Twitter to voice their concerns at this morning's earthquake.

User TwoWheeledTank said: 'Just experienced a short #earthquake in #Crawley'.

Samantha Ferguson wrote: 'My whole flat just shook underneath me!'

James Billington added: 'I'm in Dorking and the office just shook. Not another Surrey earthquake, surely?? The end is nigh'.

Jonathan Lara said: 'Did anyone else just feel the ground shake? Our whole office just shook. #gatwick #earthquake.'

And Phil Elwell described the event as 'a proper house trembler! Weird'.

Scientists at the BGS said: 'A number of reports have been received from members of the public in Newdigate, Dorking, Horley and Charlwood, Surrey and from Crawley and Horsham, West Sussex.

'This event locates in the same region as previous ones that have occurred since April'.


Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault.

This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake, and in extreme cases can even split the Earth's crust up to its surface.

Fracking works by injecting huge volumes of water into the rocks surrounding a natural gas deposit or hydrothermal well.

The water fractures the rocks, creating dozens of cracks through which gas and heat can escape to the surface.

Fracking causes Earthquakes by introducing water to faultlines, lubricating the rocks and making them more likely to slip.

When two blocks of rock or two plates rub together, they catch on one another.

The rocks are still pushing against each other, but not moving, building pressure that is only released when the rocks break.

During the earthquake and afterward, the plates or blocks of rock start moving, and they continue to move until they get stuck again.

There are questions over whether a magnitude 5.6 temblor that hit Oklahoma - the biggest earthquake ever recorded in the state - was caused by the controversial process.


The UK is expected to have an earthquake measuring 5.0 and higher on the Richter scale about once every eight years.

Tremors between 1.0 and 1.9 are expected across the country every two-and-a-half days.

The biggest earthquake in recent years was on February 27, 2008, with Market Rasen, Lincolnshire at its epicentre. It measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and was felt across much of Britain, including in Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, the Midlands, Norfolk and Wales.

In the past five years there have been 14 earthquakes in the UK.

Gwynned in Wales was hit by a 3.8 tremor on May 29, 2013, and on August 25 of the same year Blackpool in Lancashire was hit with shakes ranging from 2.3-3.3 on the scale.

On February 20, 2014, the Bristol Channel experienced the UK's biggest quake in six years, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale.

Five more followed that year, with epicentres in Rutland (April 12 and 18), the North Sea (May 20) and Jersey (July 11 and July 28).

The East Midlands were rocked once again on January 28 2015, when tremors returned to Rutland, with that year's other quakes falling in Sandwich, Kent, four months later, when Gwynned, South Wales was also hit in separate tremors.

There were two earthquakes in one day in Moidart in the Highlands of Scotland on August 4 this year. The tremor at 3.43pm measured 3.8 and one at 3.45pm was 3.4.

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Gatwick Airport is hit by EARTHQUAKE



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