Northampton's first ever earthquake...but did anyone even notice?

Seismologists report 2.2 magnitude tremor under east of town

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 9:05 am
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 9:06 am

Northampton’s first ever earthquake was recorded by the British Geological Survey.

Seismologists pinpointed an epicentre just south of Woodvale Primary Academy close to Lings Way in the east of the town, four miles below the surface at 11.53am on Friday (January 31).

The 2.2 magnitude tremor was still hardly enough to rattle teacups but it is the biggest recorded in Northamptonshire.

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Experts pinpointed the earthquake at Crestwood Road in Northampton.

Kettering had a 1.0 magnitude ‘shock’ in October 2018 while scientists picked up a 1.9 quake near Corby in 1997.

But more people felt the tremors from a 3.9 magnitude quake centered in Rutland in 2015 and a 5.2 magnitude quake in Lincolnshire also shook parts of the county in 2008.

The largest known earthquake recorded in Britain was magnitude 6.1, 60 miles offshore near the Dogger Bank in 1931.

A BGS spokesman said: "The UK is not generally associated with earthquakes, however, between 20 to 30 earthquakes are felt by people each year and a few hundred smaller ones are recorded by sensitive instruments.

The red line shows how British Geographical Survey seismographs picked up the quake.

"Most of these are very small and cause no damage.

"A magnitude four earthquake happens in Britain roughly every two years. We experience a magnitude five roughly every 10–20 years.

"The Earth under our feet has many faults caused by our turbulent geological past. Some of these faults can be observed at the surface and mapped by geologists, others are hidden many kilometres below the surface. These faults are places where earthquakes can occur."