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More information on Newdigate earthquakes

October 5, 2018 4:48 PM

Lesley NewdigateThere was a packed venue in Newdigate as local residents turned out on 3rd October to listen to a talk about the recent "swarm" of earthquakes in Surrey. The talk was given by Dt Richard Luckett from the British Geological Society (BGS) and had been organised by local LibDem campaigner, Lesley Bushnell. Lesley reports:

"Held in the slightly unusual, but charming setting of the Newdigate Cricket Club (the village hall being occupied with a yoga class), the man of the match was Dr Richard Luckett from the BGS, who delivered a fast-paced lecture, perfectly pitched at the lay audience. Interesting and informative, his style was both accessible and interspersed with some rather droll humour. The talk covered the sequence of seismic events recently experienced by local people, the reasons for the installation of BGS monitoring stations and their increase in number from 2 to 5 and why, and whether the earthquakes have been induced or not.

"Apparently, earthquakes in the UK are not unusual and that we experience around three tremors a year between magnitudes 3 and 4 - quite sizeable events. The sequence of earthquakes in Newdigate was a new sequence which included one sizeable event at magnitude 3. Finally, the talk took us step-by-step through a well-established assessment of how to work out whether earthquakes are induced or are naturally occurring.

"The talk was followed by a lively debate from the floor, and the few googlies from local action groups fired at the speaker were handled with thoughtful deliberation.

"This event was primarily about providing information to residents and I think local people really enjoyed the talk and the opportunity to ask questions of the experts. Inevitably, questions about the local oil companies' activities did arise from local action groups. Some concerns were rather wider than the topic of our meeting and some could not be addressed by the BGS because the issues were outside their remit. Nevertheless, I think it is important that the concerns over regulation of the industry were aired."