Tremors have been felt in the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire areas, the British Geological Survey has confirmed.
The BGS said the 3.9 magnitude quake was felt in the north east and north of Lincolnshire, Kingston-upon-Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire at 11.14pm on Saturday.
It was centered near Grimsby and had a depth of 11 miles.
One Twitter user in Hull said: “Our house moved, and the furniture shifted”, while another wrote: “(It would) only have lasted seconds but scary nonetheless”.
The event 9/6/18 at 22:14 UTC magnitude 3.9 is the largest in the area since the #MarketRasen event on 27/2/08 at magnitude 5.2, approx. 90 times larger this recent event. It was located approx. 30 km to the north-east of the Market Rasen earthquake. pic.twitter.com/WScWZvZ4i0
— BGS (@BritGeoSurvey) June 9, 2018
There are also reports of the tremor having been felt as far away as Nuneaton, where one resident described it as “really small, like little shake for about three seconds”.
Grimsby residents told the Grimsby Telegraph that the shaking lasted between three and five seconds.
This is the largest earthquake in the area (within 50km) since the magnitude 5.2 ML Markest Rasen event on 27 February 2008, which was felt throughout England and Wales.
The map shows that the part of the UK with the highest seismic hazard is Snowdonia. This is due to the regular occurrence of significant earthquakes in this area throughout the historical record. The next most hazardous location is South Wales, which has also experienced notable earthquake activity over the last few hundred years.
This is a region that has experienced a few earthquakes of this size, and larger, in the historical past. In 1703, a magnitude 4.2 event occurred near Hull, in 1750 a )magnitude) 4.7 event occurred in the Southern North Sea (approximately 20 km offshore Mablethorpe) and in 1954, a magnitude 4.2 event occurred near Bridlington.
— BGS schoolseismology (@Schoolseismo) June 10, 2018
The underlying cause and distribution of earthquake activity in the British Isles is not clearly understood. Recent work by Baptie (2010) presents a compilation of focal mechanisms for British earthquakes that help constrain our understanding of the driving forces of present day deformation in the British Isles.
The clear difference in the stress inversion results between northwest Scotland and England and Wales suggests that the principal stress directions expected from first order plate motions have been modified in Scotland by local stress conditions due to glacio-isostatic adjustment.
Glacial isostatic adjustment is the ongoing movement of land once burdened by ice-age glaciers. The last ice age occurred just 16,000 years ago, when great sheets of ice covered much of Earth’s Northern Hemisphere.