A 1.3 magnitude earthquake struck a tiny village in County Durham, the United Kingdom, today.
According to the British Geological Survey, the earthquakes were detected at 1 a.m. this morning in Quaking Houses, near Stanley.
Every year, there are approximately 200–300 earthquakes in the United Kingdom. The great majority, however, are so small that no one notices them. Around 20 or 30 are greater than 2.0 magnitude and can be felt across a larger area.
The most common cause of earth tremors in Scotland is glacial rebound.
Until around 10,500 years ago, much of the north of the UK was covered in ice, which forced the rocks down into the underlying mantle.
Since the ice thawed, these rocks have slowly risen back up, generating occasional earthquakes in the process.
The United Kingdom is also exposed to tectonic forces produced by the Atlantic Ocean’s growth. The ocean is gently pushing Eurasia to the east, as is Africa’s northward trend, which is pushing into Europe from the south.
The most destructive UK earth tremors occurred in the Colchester area in 1884. 1200 buildings need repairs; chimneys have collapsed and walls have cracked.
Quaking dwellings were founded by Quakers, but they evolved into a mining village with classic terraced dwellings throughout the Industrial Revolution.