A selection of recent news, that includes mentions of the British Geological Survey, reported in online news websites. Click on a heading link to read the full article.
The 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit the village of Cottesmore, neat the market town of Oakham in Rutland, at 10.25pm last night and was felt by residents up to 60 miles away. It came barely 24 hours after a 2.9 magnitude quake shook beds and rattled glasses in dining room cabinets in Hampshire's cathedral city of Winchester.
It is also the third earthquake to hit the area in less than 12 months, after two were recorded near Oakham in April last year. The latest earthquake, which hit five miles underground, prompted more than 1,500 people to contact the British Geological Survey to say they had felt the tremor.
'People have sent us pictures of things like chairs that fell over', said British Geological Survey spokesman Sarah Nice. 'It's not unusual to get one of this size in the UK - we have had them bigger. In fact, in the same area we had a 4.2 not too many years ago.
It comes after an earthquake hit Winchester yesterday with police receiving reports of something which 'felt like an explosion which shook their houses'. The quake is believed to have hit the Hampshire town at about 6.30pm at a depth of just over a mile, according to the BGS website.
The epicentre was near the town of Oakham, in Rutland, at 22:25 GMT on Wednesday. People reported feeling buildings shake and vibrations lasting as long as 10 seconds. It comes after an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 was recorded in Hampshire on Tuesday. The British Geological Survey (BGS), based in Edinburgh, said it had received 1,400 reports so far from people who felt the Oakham earthquake, including residents from as far away as Dudley and Huddersfield.
The tremor comes after two earthquakes were recorded near Oakham in April last year. The first, on 17 April, 2014, measured 3.2 in magnitude, followed by a second tremor the following day, which measured 3.5 in magnitude. On Tuesday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 was recorded in Hampshire. The British Geological Survey reported a tremor at a depth of 3km (1.9 miles) at Headbourne Worthy, just north east of Winchester.
Shaken residents of England’s smallest county are preparing for more tremors after being hit by a third earthquake in under a year. The 3.8 magnitude quake struck near the village of Cottesmore, Rutland, on Wednesday night. Terrified locals at the epicentre likened the massive rumble to their homes being hit by a freight train.
The BGS said the quake took place 8km beneath the earth around two miles from Cottesmore, and added 1,400 reports had been received.
Seismologist Glenn Ford, 50, admitted: “We can’t rule out that this could be a build-up to an even bigger earthquake. “Yesterday’s was bigger than most British earthquakes, and more powerful than the one there last year. “The biggest one in the UK was a magnitude six earthquake off the coast in the North Sea in 1931. “If that was to happen more in-land it could be devastating because that one was 3,000 times bigger in energy release than this latest one in Rutland.
About 1,600 people contacted the British Geological Survey (BGS), based in Keyworth, saying they felt the quake, while many others reported being affected on social media. Its epicentre was recorded in the town of Oakland, Rutland, at about 10.25pm.
David Galloway, seismologist at the BGS, said typical reports included houses shaking, windows rattling and feelings “like a lorry crashing into the side of a house”. He said: “We detect about 200 earthquakes in the UK each year and we usually get about three this size. “We don’t expect any structural damage but we might get one or two people who have cracks in their plaster.”
Postings on social media reported buildings in the Winchester area shaking following a tremor shortly after 18:30 GMT. A police spokeswoman said no injuries or serious damage had been reported. Matthew Emery, from South Wonston, near Winchester described the experience as "almost as if Concorde had flown over". The British Geological Survey (Bgs) reported a tremor at a depth of 3km (1.9miles) at Headbourne Worthy, just north east of Winchester. BGS Seismologist David Galloway said the UK experienced about 10 quakes of such a size each year which were "usually quite widely felt around the area".
"We live on a dynamic planet. We're actually sitting in the middle of one of the plates on the earth's crust, but because of the stresses caused by all the movement, we still get little earthquakes in the UK." The BGS said it had received a report from a residents who said "the whole bed was visibly shaking" as well as one who said the earthquake sounded "like a bus" crashing "into the neighbours house at speed". Hampshire Constabulary said it had initially received lots of calls from concerned residents in the Kingsworthy area following reports of something which "felt like an explosion which shook their houses". Residents also took to social media to describe what happened. Rowland Rees tweeted: "Quake felt in Crawley, Winchester. Whole house shook for a few seconds!" And Jen Gupta said in a tweet: "Our house in Winchester just shook enough to rattle glasses in the cupboard, accompanied by a boom sound." Rachel Cristofoli, in Kings Worthy, said: "Everyone felt it and came outside to see what was going on. It lasted about 5 seconds, but the houses all shook from top to bottom." Brook Ethridge, barmaid at the South Wonston Social Club, said: "About half past six, I was sitting reading my book and all the glasses started shaking. It sounded like someone had driven into the back of the club. "Everyone ran outside, couldn't see anything. It doesn't sound like the sort of thing that happens in a quiet little place - you just don't expect it."
The Centre will be the Scottish headquarters for the British Geological Survey (BGS) as well as a major joint BGS/Heriot-Watt University research centre for geological, petroleum and marine sciences. Scheduled for completion in early 2016, the Centre will establish in Scotland a global centre of excellence based on research synergies and collaboration. It will bring together key expertise from both institutions as well as an £8.5m investment in top-level academic recruitment from around the world, providing a huge opportunity for earth and marine science in general and for Scotland in particular.The emphasis of the Centre’s work will be at the intersection of the earth and marine sciences. Research in the Lyell Centre will play a key role in finding pragmatic solutions and providing evidence-based informed and reliable opinions in areas of energy supply, environmental impact and global climate change, where inputs have traditionally been polarised. Its work will be both socially and industrially relevant at national and international scales. Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said, “This is the physical start of a tremendous project, and is the result of many months of dedicated work behind the scenes. “The Lyell Centre will provide a huge opportunity for earth and marine science in Scotland and globally, commensurate with Heriot-Watt’s international standing and global reach.” John Ludden, Executive Director BGS, said, “It is a pleasure to see work begin on the British Geological Survey’s new home in Scotland. Our facilities and our staff, currently at several sites across Edinburgh, will be united here at The Lyell Centre alongside research teams from Heriot-Watt University. This tremendous opportunity will broaden our science base and create an innovative hub of world-leading research in the geosciences in Scotland
The Lyell Centre is funded by Heriot-Watt University, BGS, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC). Additional funding of £8.5m will also underpin investment in top-level academic staff recruitment and student research positions. The global recruitment campaign for the Lyell Centre was launched in December 2014. The Centre will house the British Geological Survey (Scotland) and staff from the University’s Schools of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society and Life Sciences. As well as providing new office and laboratory facilities the Lyell Centre will incorporate a new 50,000 litre climate change research aquarium, the UK NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas, a high level industry engagement and training initiative for the oil and gas sector, and the Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience.
Lancashire County said it was considering refusal of the application because operations would "unacceptably result in harm to the amenity of neighboring properties by way of noise pollution." Cuadrilla, which estimates the region may hold as much as 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, last year deposited 21 chapters of environmental studies with the Lancashire County Council associated with plans for up to four shale gas exploration wells. There were no objections to the permits at the federal level. Locally, council members said the proposed drilling sites were too close to residential properties. The "general disturbance" from around-the-clock operations "would be significant," they said. The refusal was met with praise by environmental advocates. Helen Rimmer, a campaigner with the British Friends of the Earth, said hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, should be sidelined in favor of low-carbon energy alternatives. The British government in 2012 enacted new restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, ending a moratorium enforced after minor tremors were reported near Lancashire drilling sites. Last week, the British Geological Survey announced plans to conduct live monitoring of shale exploration in Lancashire. The British government said natural gas from shale deposits would help reduce imports. The sector is in its infancy. There was no statement from Cuadrilla on the council's recommendations.
The £113m investment is part of the Government’s bid to use cutting edge science to create a ‘northern powerhouse’ economy. Mr Osborne also visited Ince near Ellesmere Port to open Thornton Science Park, and to meet the Natural Environment Research Council and British Geological Survey which, working with the University Of Chester, have received a share of £31m of investment to research energy technology. The park has estimated that it will contribute £205m to the region’s economy every year.
Thornton science park, the University of Chester’s fifth campus, provides a major research and innovation hub for the North West, which blends academic excellence with commercial enterprise and has a key role to play in changing the landscape of British science. In the Autumn Statement, the Natural Environment Research Council and British Geological Survey, working with the university of Chester, received a share of £31million of investment to research energy technology. This funding will help fund a new centre at Thornton, conducting world leading research on a wide range of energy technologies. Mr Osborne said: “Thornton science park’s cutting edge research exemplifies what makes the UK’s scientific and industrial base great. “Research hubs like Thornton create jobs, contribute to the economy and support Britain’s businesses, which is why they are key to the Government’s long term economic plan across the country, and to creating a northern powerhouse.
This will establish world-leading knowledge which will be applicable to a wide range of energy technologies including shale gas and carbon capture and storage. The project will develop two subsurface research centres that will be run by NERC's British Geological Survey (BGS). These will be world-leading facilities for research, technology and monitoring of the subsurface which will provide openly available data for academia, industry and regulators. The Chancellor announced the project at the Thornton Science Park, part of the University of Chester, where the first site is expected to be located. The second site is still to be agreed. This pioneering system provides an opportunity to improve our understanding of the UK's underground environment and will ensure it is closely monitored. It will allow us to help provide independent scientific evidence to government to help it determine future energy policy. The results of this monitoring will be open and made freely available to the public. The next step is for NERC to establish the project board which, among other things, will develop a full science case and a stakeholder engagement plan.